Friday, 8 November 2013

Four senior SUPP members defy show-cause letters

NOT RECOGNISED: Front row, from left – Chan, Sia, Wong and Hii show the show-cause letters and their statement to the press. Also seen are Wong (back row centre) and (from second left) Ranum, Dr Jerip and Dr Rayong. Photo by Tan Song Wei.
KUCHING: The four senior Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) members aligned to Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh’s group have refused to recognise the show-cause letters issued to them by the party’s disciplinary committee secretariat.

The letters dated Oct 30, 2013, requested that they – Wong Yew Nung, Chan Phan Chan, Thomas Hii King Hiong and Sia Jii Ming – explain to the secretariat why they should not be expelled from the party.

The letters accused the four of them from Sarikei and Meradong branches of going against Barisan Nasional (BN) in the May general election, and a resolution had been passed at the party’s central working committee (CWC) meeting on June 23 to take action against them.

In a joint statement, the group questioned the legitimacy of the party’s Disciplinary Committee Secretariat, saying the committee was appointed by an illegitimate CWC and an equally illegitimate Central Committee (CC), both
of which owed their existence to the party’s triennial delegates conference (TDC) on Dec 10, 2011 that was marred by irregularities.

The group believed the CWC had no authority to sack members considering that the Registrar of Societies (ROS) was still investigating all the irregularities.

“As you are well aware, the complaints pertaining to the TDC are now pending a decision from the ROS. In the meantime, the registrar had gone on record to state that the impugned office-bearers of SUPP shall only carry out ordinary day-to-day activities.

“Your ill-disguised attempt to get rid of supporters of Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and the group of YBs aligned to him is definitely not day-to-day activities. ROS has made it clear that the status quo is to be maintained and you are acting in flagrant disregard of the ROS instruction to impugned office-bearers.

“As such, your so-called letters to show cause are null and void,” the group said in a statement handed out to reporters during a press conference held at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel here yesterday.

Among those present were SUPP elected representatives Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Ranum Mina (Opar). Wong who is also Local Government and Community Development Minister and Bawang Assan assemblyman chaired the conference.

In addition, the group questioned the length of time the committee took to investigate the allegations made against them.

“Having regard to the ROS decision on this matter that the status quo is to be maintained until the ROS renders its decision, we will not dignify your baseless accusations with a reply and will reserve all our rights in respect of your purported ‘letter to show cause’. Any response by us now will be disrespectful to the ROS and its pending decision,” the statement continued.

The group viewed the show-cause letters as an attempt to pre-empt the decision of ROS. They said that such unilateral action would cause further division within the party and prompt ROS to deregister SUPP.

Meanwhile, Dr Jerip said the show-cause letters did not augur well with efforts by those aligned to Wong for reconciliation right from the beginning. He added that the letters were not even signed by the president or secretary-general.

“In any serious case, such letters should have been signed either by the president or secretary-general. These show-cause letters reflect their (SUPP president Tan Sri Peter Chin’s faction) mindset and attitude towards reconciliation. It shows that they are all-out for war to dismantle and get rid of all of us. They may not do it directly at Wong but slowly they are cutting off his supporters,” he added. - theborneopost

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