Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Support for Wong’s faction swells

ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE: Andrew Shilling (second right) announces that their 3,000 Bumiputera members are all behind Wong’s faction.

SIBU: The issue between the two warring factions in SUPP is no longer one of five assemblymen standing up for a comrade.

The wounds inflicted by the spat between party chief Tan Sri Peter Chin and Sibu branch head Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh worsened yesterday when 3,000 Dayak members from its Sibu Bumiputera Unit announced their support for Wong’s faction.

Unit chairman Andrew Shilling said his members were unhappy over the party’s Central Working Committee’s decision to refer only one of the six assemblymen in Wong’s camp to its disciplinary committee. On Sunday, the group of six – Wong (Bawang Assan), Datuk Francis Hardin (Simanggang), Datuk Lee Kim Shin (Senadin), Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Dr Johnical Rayong (Engkili) and Ranum Mina (Opar) – said in a statement they would `sink and swim’ together if Chin dared to sack anyone of them.

In yesterday’s press conference, Andrew said: “We stand united here. If you (Chin’s faction) dare to touch one, you touch all – the 3,000 Bumiputra members of Sibu Branch. We remain one with Wong’s faction.”

He said party headquarters in fact had no authority to handle such a hot issue as the Registrar of Societies (ROS) was still investigating irregularities reported in the run-up to the party’s triennial delegates’ conference (TDC) in December 2011. Asked by reporters what their next course of action would be, Andrew reiterated that his unit would stick with Wong’s faction. Andrew said his exco members were unhappy with SUPP Central Working Committee for stirring actions leading to the burning of the reconciliation bridge.

He said they supported the statement by Dr Jerip Susil about Wong’s faction being united in pulling through this turbulent period, and about Chin’s faction being insincere when talking about reconciliation.

“Now that they want to take disciplinary action, they are burning the bridge of reconciliation.”

Although the show cause letter had been issued to the Piasau and Bekenu branches, he said there were 12 other branches which had yet to receive the show-cause letters.- theborneopost

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