KUCHING: Bengoh assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil yesterday briefed community leaders and village headmen in Mambong parliamentary constituency on why he had decided to leave Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) for Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras).
Dr Jerip, who is Assistant Public Health Minister, explained that he and the rest from SUPP and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) had quit their respective parties as they felt that it was the best way to ensure political stability in the state Barisan Nasional (BN).
“We don’t want the internal squabbles in SUPP and SPDP to prolong because it is not good for BN especially with the state expected to face an election in two years’ time.
“So we feel that it is better for us to leave for good and find a new entity for us to continue serving the people as BN elected representatives,” he said.
He stated this at the presentation of appointment letters to community leaders from Bengoh and Tarat state constituencies in Siburan near here.
On their position after joining Teras, Dr Jerip said that their status as BN assembly members remained unchanged, and will continue to serve their areas as usual.
“The Chief Minister (Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem), during our meeting with him soon after we declared that we have joined Teras, has personally welcomed our move.
Of course there are some objections from our fellow BN component parties but that should not be a problem.
“Even if for the time being (if) we cannot join BN, we can always be a ‘BN Plus’ like what was done in 1983 when the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) formed BN Plus before it was formally accepted into BN fold,” he said.
He said there was no reason why a similar formula could not be applied in their case for the interest of the state BN, particularly its various components in the coalition and people in the state as a whole.
Dr Jerip added that he felt it necessary for him to come up with this explanation to avoid confusion among grassroots leaders following misleading claims about their present status after they joined Teras.
“With this brief explanation, I hope you all will be clear about our status and direction we are heading to so that you can spread this information to your people,” he said.
Among those present at the occasion yesterday were Deputy State Speaker and Tarat assemblyman Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Acting Kuching Resident Zamahari Saidi, DO Bau Wong Hie Sieng, SAO Siburan Wilson Spilak Asui, SAO Padawan Rangen Jamang and Kuching district Bidayuh community leader Temenggong Austin Dimin Niyon.