SERIAN: SUPP deputy president Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem is prepared to vie for the party presidency in the next triennial delegates conference (TDC) if there’s sufficient support from delegates.
Riot, who is also SUPP Serian Branch chairman and minister of human resources, said he was willing to shoulder the ‘herculean’ task to save the party from being deregistered if Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Tan Sri Peter Chin could not reconcile.
Wong is SUPP Sibu Branch chief while Chin is party president. They have been at loggerheads since the last TDC, which was held in Kuching in December 2011.
“If there is no solution to the two factions, and if requested by the majority of delegates to stand, I’m prepared even to (stand) to be SUPP president,” Riot said.
“I see that the two (factions) cannot see eye-to-eye and cannot even have a cup of coffee together.
“Perhaps, the saviour of the party may be a neutral man, like Richard Riot Jaem. With 23 years of experience at the federal level, I think I know what I am doing,” he said after chairing SUPP Serian Branch meeting here yesterday.
Riot was asked to comment whether he was willing to contest for the party’s top post in the next TDC to save it from deregistration. The TDC must be held by December this year.
SUPP’s political deck of cards is on shaky grounds as it was slapped with a show-cause letter last Jan 6 by the Registrar of Societies (ROS). The party was given 30 days to explain why they should not be deregistered, and they replied.
But there has been no word from the ROS thus far.
Riot said there would be no problem for him to contest to become SUPP’s top man considering that the party was a multi-racial party.
In realising the risk he was taking, Riot stated: “If you’re not daring enough, might as well don’t become a politician and minister.
“As a minister and SUPP deputy president, I must contribute to ensure that SUPP is saved from being deregistered.”
He hoped delegates would give him a term or three years to lead the party, adding that if he failed to discharge his duties as president, he would gracefully step down.
Admitting that he was not happy with the current situation in the party, Riot said as the deputy president he had to toe the line and not go against the “boss” and decisions of the party’s Central Working Committee.
If elected SUPP president, he said his priorities would be to get many young and capable leaders to hold key posts in the party as well as unite all members.
“Actually, I have my plans on how to go about it. (To me), the most important is I will get as many young people as possible.
“We also need the ‘old people’ to play the supporting roles, but the key players or frontliners must be the young people.”
Although Riot did not specifically mentioned who the ‘old people’ he was referring to, he was obviously referring to those who were defeated in the previous state and general elections, but still holding key positions in the party.
Asked if he agreed to suggestions that there are too many ‘old people’ in SUPP leadership, he said: “Of course. They should resign, especially those who lost, and give chance (to others).
“Why contest when you have lost? If me, I will give to somebody else.”
He believed the future of SUPP is still there, but it depended very much on the party leaders.
“I believe that one day, the Chinese and non-Chinese in the urban areas will realise that SUPP is still very relevant, and they will come back, maybe not in five years from now.
“But as I have said, God willing, hopefully if I become the president, the first thing I will do is to get as many programmes for the youths as possible because by having programmes for them, it will indirectly attract them to join the party.” - theborneopost