Saturday, 20 July 2013

Dr Jerip: Bridge of reconciliation up in smoke

KUCHING: Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bengoh chairman Dr Jerip Susil feels that the bridge of reconciliation between the two factions within the party has been ‘burnt’.

Dr Jerip, together with Sibu branch chairman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Datuk Lee Kim Shin (Senadin), Datuk Francis Harden (Simanggang), Ranum Mina (Opar) and Dr Johnicol Rayong (Engkilili) are in one faction, while the other faction is led by party president Tan Sri Peter Chin.

He said since the five of them have been referred to the disciplinary committee, the process of reconciliation was now over.

“When they referred us to the disciplinary committee, it reflected that they wanted to expel us from the party, and this does not augur well for the reconciliation process for us to discuss together to resolve the party crisis after the show-cause letter issued by Registrar of Societies (ROS),” Dr Jerip, who is Assistant Minister of Public Health said when contacted yesterday.

On June 23, SUPP central committee resolved to refer four ‘personalities’ to the disciplinary committee, while issuing another with a show-cause letter.

However, the party president, Tan Sri Peter Chin, did not directly reveal who will be issued with the letter, but when reporters asked him whether it is Wong (Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh), he replied, “That is, I believe what you have heard.”

Chin then said the decision would be made later this month at the central working committee (CWC) meeting, but Dr Jerip yesterday said they had not received any news yet pertaining to the outcome.

According to Dr Jerip, there had been no efforts by the other group to bring them together for talks, adding that it would not be a wise move for SUPP, being a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party, but without any assemblyman.

Dr Jerip, who is Bengoh assemblyman, pointed out that it was BN leaders and the principle for the Bumiputera state elected representatives to stay put in SUPP.

Having said that, Dr Jerip pointed out that they were leaving it to ROS to decide the fate of the party.

ROS has served a show-cause letter to SUPP on June 6 to two branches- Piasau and Bekenu – which the party has replied and submitted on June 28.

The show-cause letter was for alleged irregularities committed by the branches during the 2011 triennial delegates conference (TDC).

Complaints were made against 14 branches – Kuching, Pending, Padungan, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Bintangor, Repok, Sibu, Kanowit, Bintulu, Bekenu, Piasau, Julau and Song – for similar alleged offence.

Dr Jerip said apart from Piasau and Bekenu, he believed that ROS was also investigating and reviewing the other 12 branches.

Asked about the next move by the group in the event that SUPP be deregistered, Dr Jerip said they were waiting for the ROS conclusion.

“Now that the show-cause letter has been issued, we will wait for the final outcome before we decide on our next move…we will cross the bridge when the time comes, we will not want to be presumptuous,” he said.

Yesterday, SUPP secretary-general Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian said the party was eager to receive an early reply from ROS to chart out the next move.

He was also quoted as telling reporters that the party also wanted ROS to tell them whether there were any other letters that the party may have to reply to, to settle the matter once and for all.-theborneopost

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