Dr Sim denies SUPP constitution amendments were a ploy to oust Riot

Dr Sim (right) and Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin at the press conference at DUN today (Nov 12, 2018).

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 12: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian has clarified that the amendments made to the party constitution in 2015 to restrict every elected representatives to four terms is not meant to “flush out” its Deputy President I Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.

Dr Sim who is Local Government and Housing Minister (SUPP-Batu Kawa) said the amendment to the party constitution was not “retrospective”.

“That is to say, Riot has another four terms to go. The amendment is effective in the year when the constitution was amended in 2015. This means that Riot can continue to have another four terms, meaning another 20 years from 2015.

“So it is not true that the amendment was done to try to cut short his political life or to flush him out,” said Dr Sim at a media conference on the sidelines of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

On the other issue that Riot raised recently, that SUPP did not nominate any Bidayuh political secretary to the Chief Minister, Dr Sim said, there were no new political secretaries from the party in the recent appointments.

“It was a continuation of the existing political secretaries. There was no vacancy for new appointments. On top of that the appointment of political sectary is at the discretion of the Chief Minister,” explained Dr Sim.

On the possibility of Riot leaving the party due to dissatisfaction, Dr Sim said Sarawak practises democracy and any member can leave any party when they chose to.

However, Dr Sim also revealed that as president of the party, he had “communicated” with Riot to resolve the misunderstanding recently and put the issue to rest.

Last Saturday, Riot expressed his frustration towards the party’s top leadership for not recommending a Bidayuh as one of the political secretaries to the Chief Minister to represent the party.

Sharing his disappointment with DayakDaily, he said, “You don’t play with Richard Riot. I have been patient for far too long. Enough is enough.”

Riot who is the only SUPP candidate to win in the last general election revealed that appointments to any important government posts such as senators and political secretaries were never discussed in his presence.

He was commenting on a news report on the 32 political secretaries to the Chief Minister who took their oath of office before Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday, whereby from this group, only three are new faces namely, Suzanne Lee Tze Ha of United People’s Party (UPP), Dr Simon Sinang Bada of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and Robert Ayu of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

Among the five political secretaries from SUPP, one is an Iban and four are Chinese. Their appointments will be for a period of one year from Oct 1, 2018 to Sep 30, 2019.

Out of the 32 political secretaries, only two are Bidayuhs namely Dr Simon of PBB and Charles Chad Nissom of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS). — DayakDaily