Sarawak’s UPP passes resolution to apply to officially join Barisan

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 22 Jun 2016

KUCHING: UPP, the offshoot of SUPP, has passed a resolution to apply to join Barisan Nasional officially.

Secretary-general George Lo said he and president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh met Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem on Monday to convey the party’s intention.

“Adenan said we are welcome to submit (the application) but it would be considered in accordance with Barisan consensus,” Lo told a press conference here yesterday.

He said Adenan assured them that UPP was still considered friendly to Barisan.

“We asked him to affirm that UPP is still a Barisan Plus party, and the CM said, ‘surely that cannot be disputed since Wong is a full minister in his Cabinet’,” said Lo.

Barisan Plus refers to Barisan “plus” friendly parties, a term the state coalition first used in the 1980s when infighting among component parties led to splinter groups.

The state of Sarawak Barisan, which officially has four parties, remains fluid, and most likely confusing to outsiders.

Wong was reappointed as Second Finance Minister in Adenan’s new Cabinet following the May 7 state election. However, Wong lost the Local Government Ministry to SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is a newbie.

UPP currently has just two state assemblymen – Wong (Bawang Assan) and Datuk Tiong Thai King (Dudong) – both in Sibu, after three bumiputra elected representatives quit the offshoot party with the intention to join PBB.

Also applying to join PBB are six other party-less elected representatives, three of whom are from Teras, the splinter group of SPDP.

In the 82-seat Sarawak legislative assembly, PBB holds 40 (not inclu­ding the nine party-less applicants), PRS 11, SUPP seven and SPDP three. Among opposition parties, DAP holds seven seats, while PKR has three.

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