SUPP told to prepare for polls now

Ready for battle: SUPP leaders posing for group photo during the installation of office bearers for the Lambir, Bekenu, Piasau, Pujut and Senadin branches in Miri.

MIRI: The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), which lost two-thirds of its state seats during the last state election, has been told to start preparations to face the coming election, due by middle of next year.

SUPP deputy president Datuk Seri Richard Riot said the party must prepare aggressively now to face the battle ahead, which would be a tough one.

“We will be contesting in 19 state seats at least. These 19 state constituencies traditionally belonged to SUPP and we will stake a claim to all these seats once again and will contest them during the coming state election, which is coming soon.

“The preparations must start now. If we want to regain our glory days and win back lost seats, we must prepare aggressively without delay,” he said when gracing a ceremony to witness the installation of office bearers for the SUPP branches of Senadin, Lambir, Pujut, Piasau and Bekenu on Saturday night.

SUPP vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the party must focus on people-oriented programmes in order to be of service to the rakyat.

He stressed that the Miri SUPP branches must be focussed and united in this aspect of functioning as the platform for the betterment of the people’s welfare.

“The unity and comradeship within the party must be strengthened as this is the key to our survival.

“As far as our service to the rakyat is concerned, we must plan strategies and programmes that are focussed on improving the welfare of the rakyat.

“In Miri’s five branches, we have pooled our resources and expertise so that we can deliver more effective results to improve the well-being of the rakyat.

“We have already delivered positive results in helping the people in Miri in terms of tackling their housing issues, land issues, educational assistance and looking into their other needs,” he said.

Lee, who is Senadin state assemblyman and State Assistant Minister for Communications and Sports, said that as the head of the Miri-Sibuti SUPP parliamentary liaison committee, he and his team were working closely with the private sector and government departments so that SUPP Miri would be able to function more effectively and deliver results on the ground.

SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting expressed hopes that SUPP will be able to regain the glory days when the party was strong and united.

“In the past, SUPP had a deputy chief minister, federal ministers, a deputy federal minister and many state Cabinet ministers.

“Our party was also pivotal in state and federal administration. In fact, SUPP is the oldest political party in Sarawak and we played a key role in fighting for the independence of Sarawak from the British.

“We were also a party to the formation of Malaysia, playing a key role in making Sarawak an equal partner in Malaysia.

“We must regain the glory days where the party was playing a central role in administration in all aspects,” he said.

SUPP lost 13 of the 19 state seats it contested during the last state election in 2011, and subsequently lost the deputy chief minister 1 post that was reserved for the Chinese in Sarawak.

That post has been left vacant ever since.

During the last parliamentary election, SUPP also lost its stronghold of Miri and five other MP seats.

The only seat it retained was Serian, of which Riot is the MP.

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