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Decision put on hold
by Peter Sibon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on March 13, 2012, Tuesday
KUCHING: ROS will not make any conclusion on alleged irregularities in SUPP until after the general election.
The Registrar of Societies (ROS) will not make any decision on the fate of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) before the 13th general election.
A reliable source has revealed that the conclusions on investigations on reports of irregularities committed during several branch elections in the run-up to the party’s Triennial Delegates Conference (TDC) will not be revealed until after the coming election.
The state ROS director, Ken Leben, when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday dismissed rumours that SUPP was facing deregistration.
With the sceptre of deregistration removed the party can now concentrate on preparing for the general election scheduled to be held ‘any time after May’.
This is based on the fact that the Election Commission (EC), which is the sole custodian of the election process in the country, had said that it could only be ready for the polls after May 31.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) has allocated SUPP seven parliamentary seats, namely Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Serian, Sarikei, Lanang, Bandar Sibu and Miri.
According to the latest information from the party, it would be fielding new faces in three constituencies namely Bandar Kuching, Stampin and Bandar Sibu.
While the candidates for Bandar Kuching and Stampin have not been decided yet, the party’s Sibu branch has announced that Temenggong Vincent Lau will be its candidate in Bandar Sibu, last Saturday.
Bandar Sibu is currently held by DAP’s Wong Ho Leng and Lau will have his work cut out for him in trying to wrest the seat from the opposition.
Sibu used to be SUPP’s stronghold in past elections but the political landscape has changed drastically in recent years with the opposition holding three of the four state seats in the parliamentary constituency after the last state election.
Local voters and political pundits believe Lau is the best candidate to take on the uphill task of winning back the voters in Bandar Sibu.
He is seen as having a ‘Mr nice guy and untarnished image’ personality.
Though Lau is relatively new in political arena, he is a well-known figure in Sibu.
Besides serving the Chinese community in Sibu as a Temenggong, he is also active in various charitable organisations, schools (both in mission and Chinese schools), business chambers, social and religious organisations.
The party is pinning its hopes in Lau (in Bandar Sibu) and incumbent for Lanang Datuk Tiong Thai Ling to score big for both the party and for the BN.
A good showing in the next election is crucial for the survival of SUPP as wresting the seats from the opposition and retaining its own seats will likely put paid to any move to deregister the party.
On the other hand if the party were routed in the election, deregistration or other disciplinary actions could be meted out to force the party to re-invent itself.
Despite its internal crisis which is weighing the party dwon, it is confident that it could still retain all its five current seats of Stampin, Serian, Sarikei, Lanang and Miri and win back Sibu.