Ask what you can do for the people, SUPP advised

Salahuddin (seated, third from left) and his wife, Datuk Patinggi Toh Puan Norkiah (seated, second from left), visiting Dr Soon (seated, third from right) at the latter’s residence in Sibu yesterday (Feb 6, 2019).

By Lian Cheng

SIBU, Feb 7: For Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) to wrest back its lost seats while retaining its present ones in the next state election, it must have a grand plan that spells out very clearly one thing — what the party can do for the people.

This is crucial to regain the confidence of the voters, opined former Dudong assemblyman Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck.

He said party president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian must craft this grand plan to convince Sarawakians that SUPP is still worthy of their support.

“The party president must come up with it (grand plan) so that SUPP can present it to voters when contesting in all their seats,” Dr Soon told DayakDaily at his Chinese open house at his residence here yesterday.

He observed that, generally, voters were disappointed with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government; hence, SUPP should capitalise on it by proposing its vision and mission to the voters.

On Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Dr Soon reckoned it is moving on the right track by giving the rural areas due attention and, thus, has a good chance of winning the next state election, which is due in 2021.

“But this state election is going to be a very tough fight.”

Dr Soon believed there had been a swing of support to GPS because the federal government had been making U-turns in many of its policies, including reneging on its promise to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) upon coming into power.

“My daughter has a UEC certificate and was accepted by Melbourne University without undergoing matriculation. So, what is the problem of Malaysia recognising UEC when most universities in the world accept it?”

On the overall development of Sibu, Dr Soon urged the GPS government to include the division in its development plan while developing the state through development agencies such as Upper Rajang Development Agency (Urda), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

“We really need something for Sibu because our young people are leaving. There are about 60,000 Ibans from here now working in Johor and Kuala Lumpur. There is even an Iban village in Johor.

“You look at Sibu. What is there for Sibu? So, we need the GPS government to develop Sibu because at the moment, there is nothing here.”

Meanwhile, Dr Soon, who was an assistant minister before his retirement in 2011, commented that former Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng had been a close friend since his years in active politics.

“He always makes it a point to visit me during Chinese New Year when I was active in politics. Now even when we are both retired, he still makes it a point to visit me. Our friendship has been established since a long time ago.” — DayakDaily