Thursday, August 6

Bracing for uphill fight ahead

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SUPP gets cracking for state polls early, working out strategies to regain lost seats

KUCHING:  Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has instructed all its 19 state constituency branches to set up a committee to prepare strategies to mount a stronger challenge in the next state election.

Its president Tan Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui said the party expected a very tough fight in the next state election as it lost 13 of 19 seats it contested in the last state election in April 2011 and six out of seven parliamentary seats in the just concluded general election.

“Based on our 13th general election post-mortem from all parliamentary constituency branches, the results and voting trend has provided a picture which will guide our preparation for the next state election.

“The next state election, probably in 2016, will be a very tough challenge. We have to prepare early,” Chin told a press conference following the party’s Central Working Committee meeting at the party headquarters here yesterday.

Giving a rough summary on factors leading to the heavy defeat suffered by SUPP in the May 5 polls, Chin said the opposition managed to create a lot of false hopes, confusion among the people and mistrusts towards the Barisan Nasional (BN) through the internet.

He said this has significantly affected the younger generation who were easily influenced by online contents.

The party has created a task force led by its Publicity and Information Secretary Dato Sebastian Ting to counter the opposition’s cyber campaigns.

“We will make use of our website for instance, to see how effective or ineffective we are. We acknowledge that the opposition is more savvy and clever in this (cyberspace) area. The party will need BN’s help (in terms of resources),” Chin continued.

Chin added that the party would also invite NGOs to assist in disseminating the truth to counter opposition’s allegations.

He also revealed that the party would look into cases of members not supporting BN candidates in their constituencies during the general election.

On another note, Chin revealed the next Central Committee (CC) meeting on June 23 would focus on the party’s unity.

He reminded all CC members to submit their motions to the party’s secretariat seven days before the meeting.

Also present were SUPP secretary general Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian, deputy secretary-general Matthew Chen, Ting, Youth chief Tan Kai and Women’s chief Tnay Li Ping.