Monday September 24, 2012
Chin: Coming polls will be an uphill battle for SUPP
By CALVIN YEO
KUCHING: It will be a do or die battle for SUPP come the 13th general election.
Party president Datuk Seri Peter Chin said it was not an exaggeration to admit this as the result of the state election last year had shown how the party was rejected by the voters.
SUPP suffered a near total defeat in the state election when it only managed to hold on to six out of the 19 seats it contested.
It won in two Chinese majority seats — Bawang Assan and Senadin and four bumiputra majority seats of Bengoh, Opar, Engkilili and Simanggang.
A few of its top leaders were also defeated in the election and among them were its former president Tan Sri Dr George Chan in Piasau, treasurer Datuk David Teng in Repok and Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck in Dudong.
“We have an uphill task in the coming general election and that is what we are facing now.
“Our focus since the delegates conference at the end of last year is to retain all our parliamentary seats.
“We cannot afford to lose any further as that will cast a death nail on our coffin,” Chin said when addressing the party’s central committee meeting here yesterday.
That was why the Central Working Commit-tee (CWC) had frequently discussed the winnability of candidates proposed by the party, he added.
“The winnability of our candidates is our priority and we cannot afford not to talk about it in our meetings.
“Let us concentrate in the next few months on gearing our party towards the general election.
“We should stop the nonsense about lobbying for candidates but to concentrate on winning the votes for the party,” he added.
Chin took over the presidency from Dr Chan at the end of last year after former deputy secretary general and presidential hopeful Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh boycotted the delegates conference, alleging that the party election was flawed with irregularities in favour of Chin and his group.
On the party’s candidacy, Chin said it had been agreed in a meeting during the Prime Minister’s visit to Sibu last April that Wong would be in charge of candidacy for Sibu and Lanang parliamentary seats, while he would be in charge of the remaining five seats namely Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Serian, Sarikei and Miri.
“Although the CWC may have decided on our proposed candidates, it does not mean that we cannot change the list.
“However, there is a proper way to deal with this (lobbying for candidates) and there must be a good reason why certain candidates are better than the proposed ones.
“It must be done within the party and not publicly,” Chin said.
He urged the party members to stand firm despite the various pressures, especially those who hold public appointments.
“Do not be afraid of it. However, if you want to resign, I would understand the kind of pressure you may have.
“We are a democratic party and there will always be a winner and a loser.
“But sometimes I think we are not that democratic judging from the things that had happened. If we love the party and although you may have lost, you must still remain in the party.
“Do not do things that make the winner can’t continue the work for the party,” he said.