Saturday August 18, 2012
Dr Chan: SUPP can still retain Miri if internal peace maintained
MIRI: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is said to still have a fighting chance of successfully defending the Miri parliamentary constituency in the coming general election.
Sources said intelligence reports compiled by the various information-gathering agencies here all pointed in this direction.
The sources told The Star yesterday that the grounds were regularly being assessed for their political stand and sentiments and that of late they were in favour of Barisan Nasional.
“As far as Miri is concerned, it is still possible for Barisan to win. SUPP still has a chance to retain Miri even though it was categorised as a danger seat a few months back,” one of the sources said.
According to the same source, the main worry that still hangs over Miri and the other SUPP’s Chinese-majority parliamentary seats is the party’s internal conflict that may flare up again during the campaign period.
“If the disputing factions within SUPP can maintain their truce and agree to work together with their rivals in the party to face the Opposition, then SUPP stands a fighting chance of defending Miri and even winning back Sibu.
“But if the internal rivalries flare up again and the rival factions decide to use the parliamentary elections to seek revenge, then SUPP’s chances of winning will diminish,” said the source.
Asked for his view, SUPP’s former president Tan Sri Dr George Chan said if the internal peace was maintained he saw no reason why SUPP could not win Miri even if the candidate was a new face.
Incumbent Miri MP Datuk Seri Peter Chin last week announced that he would not seek re-election, saying he wanted to retire from active government duties so that he could concentrate on his responsibilities as SUPP president.
On this, Dr Chan said: “Peter has served Miri very well during his term in office but I must say his potential successor Sebastian is a hardworking person and very dedicated too.”
Referring to Datuk Sebastian Ting, and of his likely candidacy, Dr Chan said: SUPP has a good person in Sebastian to take over from Peter. I hope that within the party, everyone will support him and make every effort to ensure BN’s victory in Miri.
“It is crucial that we in Miri do not break the very close link that we have with the Federal Government.
“Miri parliamentary seat traditionally comes with at least a deputy Federal minister post, that is why the seat is very important.”