KUCHING: SUPP Sibu chief Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh yesterday proposed that all “controversial leaders”, including himself, step down to pave the way for a new election to rejuvenate the party.
Those aligned to party president Tan Sri Peter Chin must do likewise in order to avoid another round of confrontation between both warring factions when the election is called, he stressed.
He also advised former elected representatives (YBs) who are holding top posts in the party to retire so that the present crop of YBs and young professionals could come to the fore to rejuvenate the party.
“I, being the leader of this group, an elected representative and also senior minister, is willing to step aside and not participating in the election. Our group feels that if I do not participate, then Peter Chin and all ex-SUPP YBs, they know who they are, should not participate,” Wong told a press conference at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel here yesterday.
Also present were assemblymen Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Bengoh), Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa (Engkilili) and Ranum Mina (Opar).
Wong explained that this proposed solution would enable young leaders to take over the helm and take the party out of its current slump.
“Our intention is to allow younger leaders to come into office and lead SUPP. This includes our four Bumiputera state elected representatives so that our party will have the leadership of younger people, new image and move forward with new vitality.
“This could be the breakthrough for the party.”
Wong, who is also Second Finance Minister and Minister of Local Government and Community Development, said except for the deputy president cum Serian MP Datuk Richard Riot, the party was now led by a team of former YBs who had all lost their seats either in the last state or general elections.
“These former YBs continue to maintain their grip on power in the party hierarchy despite the fact that voters have rejected them in their constituencies.
“At the end of the day, party interest is the most important. Office held by individual person is irrelevant if the party is weak and going downhill.”
Wong reiterated that his group was very committed in wanting to save the party since day one.
When the crisis arose in the run-up to the party’s triennial delegates’ conference (TDC) in December 2011, he said his group held a meeting with the other group, and the meeting was chaired by Chin’s predecessor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.
During the meeting, Wong said his group proposed a cooling off period by postponing the TDC until after the general election, and Dr Chan agreed to it, but Chin’s faction insisted the TDC must be held every three years based on the party’s constitution.
The group also proposed that to avoid direct confrontation, controversial leaders in the internal feud, including Wong, Chin and all those who had lost in the 2011 state election, abstained from participating in the TDC election.
But that proposal was also rejected.
In the end, the TDC went ahead but the group led by Wong boycotted it, claiming irregularities in some of the branch elections.
“Our group has tried our best to save the party, but, unfortunately, all our proposals have not being well received by the other side. There is nothing much we can do.”
Meanwhile, Dr Jerip hoped the Registrar of Societies (ROS) would expedite its decision on the party. - theborneopost