Show of unity by 500 SUPP delegates at ADC

KUCHING: About 500 delegates and observers attended the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) held at Dewan Saati of the party’s headquarters here.

All of the party’s top brass were present to show an united front that had led to the party’s very good show during the last state polls.

In his speech the party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem called on party leaders and members to ride on their success in last May state election.

He said after so many years of disunity and poor showing in 2011 state and 2013 parliamentary elections, SUPP came out strong as a united front last May. An united SUPP can win back seats lost in 2013, Riot pointed out.

“It is this unity that has been the pillar of SUPP’s strength – and the coalition’s (BN) strength, too.

“It is this unity that had helped us win in the 11th State Election last May.

“It is this unity that had helped SUPP to weather the storm of a political split that literally broke it in two halves,” he said in reference to the leadership struggle that saw the formation of breakaway United People’s Party (UPP).

Riot said clearly the new found strength of the party was the consequence of a leadership change.

“For that change of fortune, allow me to congratulate our party president Yang Berhormat Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, for leading our party and members out of the backwaters of Sarawak State politics,” he said to delegates attending SUPP annual delegates’ conference at the party headquarters yesterday.

Stating that the 14th general election GE14) could be held as early as the first quarter of next year, the Serian MP who is Human Resources Minister, said: “Let us do the necessary to win back those parliamentary seats that are now with the Oppositions.

“Let us work hard. Let us forge a stronger alliance with our colleagues in the BN.

“Let us go into the 14th General Election like we did last May when we were able to convince Sarawakians that SUPP is still as relevant as it once was.”

He insisted that SUPP should be allowed to contest all seven MP seats (Kuching, Stampin, Serian, Sarikei, Lanang, Sibu and Miri) that traditionally belonged to it.

He said SUPP must not be compromised as what happened last May when several traditional seats were given away to direct candidates and UPP.

“SUPP is a full-fledged and respected member of BN at both state and federal levels, we should be treated as such,” he said to loud applause from about 500 delegates and observers.

He also called on party leaders to have the courage of naming its candidates early so that those named could make an early start on the ground.

On his seat of Serian, the party’s sole seat in parliament, Riot said: “It is a sure win. That I can assure you.

“If I have not been heard clearly before, let me say it again, my promise to you party leaders, delegates and observers, is I will deliver Serian,” he said to more applause.

Earlier, when delivering his report, party secretary-general Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting said party members had every reason to feel happy because BN had accorded it a fair measure of self-respect by giving it a full minister (Riot) at the federal level even though it had just one MP seat (Serian), a mayor post in Miri (Adam Yii), several council deputy chairman posts, councilors and community leaders.

“Most of all, we have been given all the five posts of political secretary to the chief minister that had always belonged to SUPP.

“Yes, SUPP is regaining a fair portion of its lost glory and this should spur us to do better in the coming GE14,” he said.