By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, July 20: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (Supp) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian asserted that his party will leave it to the discretion of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to decide on the replacement of former Finance Minister II and Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh in the State Cabinet.
“I have said what I needed to say, that he (Abang Johari) will know the most qualified candidate (to replace Wong),” he said.
Dr Sim was approached by the media after distributing Sarawak flags to members of the public in conjunction with the installation of new office bearers of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions held at Chung Hua Primary School No. 3 here this afternoon.
Wong has told a packed press conference on July 15 (Monday) that he would hand in his letter of resignation to the Chief Minister.
This was confirmed by Abang Johari at a Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) function held at Kampung Pichin, Serian that Wong had indeed tendered his resignation during their meeting on July 17 (Wednesday).
Now, speculations have been rife that the Chief Minister will fill the post left vacant by Wong very soon, and sources from the grapevine seemed to indicate that SUPP Secretary-General and Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting has been tipped for the post.
If not Ting, then it would most probably be Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Lee Kim shin, who has been an assistant minister since 2004.
On another issue, Dr Sim explained that the party would issue a press release soon to rebut Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s statement that SUPP was not an important partner to GPS.
Chong had today claimed that SUPP was insignificant to GPS based on the recent announcement made by Wong whose resignation from the State Cabinet was linked to the fact that the latter’s party Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) has been intruding into Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) areas.
According to Chong, even though the squable between Wong and SUPP has been going on for more than five years, which saw Wong quit SUPP to form United People’s Party (UPP) which was later rebranded to PSB, but yet Wong still remained as a minister.
“But the moment he (Wong) touched PRS by taking in ex-members of the party, action was taken because the Chief Minister had said ‘You touch one, you touch all’. In the past, Wong smacked SUPP but the ‘You touch one, you touch all’ doesn’t seem to apply to SUPP,” Chong was quoted to have said at an event held at Hui Sing park here today.
Chong, who is also Federal Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs had also alleged that since SUPP could not even defend their rightful position in GPS, then how could the people expect it to fight for their rights. — DayakDaily