KUCHING, March 23: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and its splinter party United People’s Party (UPP) today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together under the SUPP flag for the coming general election (GE14).
The signing ceremony saw SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and party secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, and UPP president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and his party deputy president Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, signing the MoU documents witnessed and endorsed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, while being witnessed by state Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council members at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) headquarters in Petra Jaya here this afternoon.
This would mean that although UPP had named its GE14 candidates for Sibu (Dato Andrew Wong) and Lanang (Andrew Ting) — traditionally SUPP parliamentary seats — they would still be possible to contest provided that they use the SUPP flag, as per MoU.
Dr Sim said however UPP would have to submit their candidates’ “CVs” first to SUPP for consideration, adding that SUPP has not finalised its own list of candidates.
“We haven’t decided yet (to accept UPP candidates). But the condition is there would be no direct BN candidates. The Chief Minister said that SUPP seats must have SUPP candidates. I mean, if you (UPP) give me your (candidates’) CV, I can consider. But (they) must come under SUPP (during the GE14).
“We all will consider their candidates if they pass to me their CVs. But they haven’t yet. Either way, it will be SUPP’s candidates in that context.
“The Chief Minister also said that not only SUPP, but in general all BN candidates, have to be BN component candidates. For example, if it’s a Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) seat, then it must field a PDP candidate; if it’s SUPP (seat), must be SUPP (candidate). If it’s PBB (seat), must be PBB (candidate); if it’s Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) (seat), must be PRS (candidate). No direct BN candidate.
“So for UPP candidates, they must show me their CVs first to convince me. I mean there is no other way,” he told reporters after the MoU signing ceremony.
Earlier, when asked about UPP’s candidates for GE14 as well as BN’s new faces, Abang Johari said he has not received the full list of the state’s BN candidates, adding that it would be announced when the time comes.
“That one is up to them (SUPP-UPP) later. Even I haven’t decided on my PBB candidates yet. So the candidate is not the criteria. The criteria is they are united, work together in all forms in order to develop our state and to be powerful.
“If you ask me, even I haven’t got the full list of our (PBB) candidates. I will announce it later when the time comes. I don’t even know when is the election. In the news recently, reporters speculated that Parliament might be dissolved on April 2. This morning I asked the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak), he said ‘no’,” he said.
The full text of the MoU between SUPP and UPP is as follows:
MEMORANDUM OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING
SUPP and UPP have reached a mutual understanding of the following:-
(1) Having the vision of a strong and stable government for a progressive and just society in Sarawak, SUPP (Founding Member of BN) and UPP embrace and subscribe to the inclusive spirit of Barisan Nasional (BN) under the leadership of YAB Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.
(2) With the unequivocal aim to serve the people through greater political representation, both SUPP and UPP, agree to explore and take steps toward uniting the two parties into a single larger political entity to have a stronger representation in the Sarawak BN, with the eventual and ultimate intention of being part of the Sarawak BN under SUPP.
(3) A Consultative Committee shall be set up comprising the respective President and the Secretary General of each party. This Consultative Committee’s mandate shall be to work out the way towards reconciliation of both parties as well as to maintain constant communication to build up mutual trust and respect as well as to avoid any misunderstanding.
(4) Both parties understand and agree that there are many matters and subjects that need to be deliberated with mutual consent, respect and confidence in the Consultative Committee before such exercise can be implemented.
(5) Both parties would collaborate with each other to ensure the victory of all Sarawak BN candidates in the forthcoming Parliamentary Election.
(6) This Memorandum of Mutual Understanding is to bring about greater unity within the community in the interests of Sarawak and that all parties will cooperate and work closely to fulfil the objectives of this MOU.
On this 23rd day of March 2018, in the distinguished presence of:
YAB DATUK PATINGGI (DR) ABANG HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN ZOHARI BIN TUN DATUK ABANG HAJI OPENG
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK
This Memorandum of Mutual Understanding is signed by:
|YB DATUK DR SIM KUI HIAN||YB DATO SRI WONG SOON KOH|
|YB DATUK SEBASTIAN TING||YB DATUK DR JERIP SUSIL|
|SECRETARY GENERAL||DEPUTY PRESIDENT|