Sim has right to endorse candidate for Bawang Assan, says SUPP Youth leader

Current Bawang Assan assemblyman Wong Soon Koh told SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) to ‘shut up’ for naming a candidate for the seat as the next state elections are more than two years away.

PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth leader has defended the party’s right to endorse a local councillor to contest the Bawang Assan state seat in the next Sarawak polls.

Yong Ing Hock said it was party president Dr Sim Kui Hian’s right to name Kevin Lau as a candidate in recognition of his hard work, the Borneo Post reported.

“It is a good move for our leader to openly name whoever he thinks is best suited to serve the people in an area.

Yong Ing Hock.

“That way, whatever uncertainties can be put to rest and we can all close ranks and march towards a common goal,” Yong, the Bawang Assan SUPP branch youth organising secretary, was quoted as saying.

Sim had on Sunday endorsed Lau’s candidacy when calling for a new leader to represent the constituency, in a swipe at the current assemblyman, Wong Soon Koh.

Sim, a Sarawak deputy premier, said the state constituency needed a new leader who could spur development in the area, which he described as being left behind in terms of infrastructure.

The decision to endorse Lau’s candidacy highlights the growing rift between SUPP and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) of which Wong was recently named as a senior vice-president after Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) was dissolved.

Prior to the dissolution, Wong was PSB’s president. He along with PSB members joined PDP en bloc last month and this led to pundits predicting it would cause strife, particularly among Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) components.

The rift materialised very quickly as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s Bawang Assan chief Romeo Christopher Tegong laid claim to Wong’s seat earlier this month, saying the division would work with SUPP in the next state election to wrest back the seat.

Romeo, a political secretary to Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg, claimed that the constituency “belonged to SUPP”.

This morning, Wong ticked off Sim for endorsing Lau’s “candidacy” and told the latter to “shut up”, adding that Sim could be perceived as jumping the gun as Abang Johari Openg, who is the GPS chairman, had the final say.

“I want him to shut up because who is he to name the candidate at this stage? It is too premature,” he said, adding that the state election was still two or more years away.

To this, Yong hit back at Wong, labelling the latter “rude”.

“Telling a person to ‘shut up’ undermines certain values and sets a poor example for others in public service.”


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