KUCHING: Fresh from a respectable victory, SUPP is offering an olive branch to its former heavyweights who stood and won as Barisan Nasional direct candidates in the just-concluded Sarawak election, to return and rejuvenate the party.
Its president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian today said SUPP which won seven of the 13 seats it contested would become more formidable as a political party should the five ex-leaders accepted the offer.
“Unity is more important. The olive branch is always on offer. They are always welcomed to rejoin SUPP,” he said when met today.
Dr Sim, a cardiologist by profession, led SUPP’s revival by winning the Batu Kawah seat with a 2,085 vote majority en route to beating two other candidates - Christina Chew Wang See of DAP and Independent candidate Liu Thian Leong.
The other seats were delivered by its secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting in Piasau, its two vice-presidents Datuk Francis Harden Hollis (Simanggang) and Datuk Lee Kim Shin (Senadin) as well as Datuk Dr Huang Tiong Sii (Repok), Ding Kuong Hiing (Meradong) and Lo Khere Chiang (Batu Kitang).
SUPP former members who won in this election were Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Datuk Tiong Thai King (Dudong), Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Mambong), Dr Johnichal Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Ranum Mina (Opar).
Due to differences with the leadership, Wong, a former SUPP assistant secretary-general quit the party in May 2014 together with Dr Jerip, Dr Rayong and Ranum to join Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) but two months later, left Teras to form United People’s Party (UPP), as a BN-friendly party.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had set a condition before the election that those nominated to become BN direct candidates should quit their parties and can choose any of the State component parties after winning.
Other than SUPP, BN component parties in Sarawak comprise PBB, SPDP and PRS.
Before the election, SUPP, SPDP and PRS had strongly objected the admission of Teras and UPP into the BN fold. -- BERNAMA