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KUCHING: Although members of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) are largely Chinese, the interest of the members from minority non-Chinese are not neglected, party president Datuk Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian said today.
He said when the party raises up any issue, it also covers the non-Chinese members.
“I hope you don’t feel marginalised. You are part and parcel of the party,” he said at the ‘s flag raising ceremony in conjunction with the 58th anniversary of the party.
Sim, who is also the Local Government and Local Government Minister, said SUPP, founded on June 4, 1959 in Sibu, has grown from strength to strength and now has 111,737 members.
“Out of that total membership, 33 per cent are non-Chinese, including 2,845 Indians,” he said.
He said SUPP, therefore, can claim to be a truly multi-racial party whose membership includes all races in the state.
Urging young people to become members, Sim said they can provide stability and become backbone of the party.
“The survival of the party, in future, lies in the young people,” he said, adding that SUPP provides opportunities for them to serve the community and for the betterment of the state.
He said 12 per cent of the party members are below 40 years, who are at that age, are considered as youth.
Sim said under his leadership he will give emphasis to three issues that are aimed to strengthen the party.
“Firstly, I want to groom individuals in the party so they can shine and secondly, I want to ensure that our party remains united and has the strength to support those who can shine, otherwise, no matter how good you are, you cannot shine,” he said.
He said he also wants members to possess critical thinking and to attend political training so they can contribute to the well-being of SUPP.
“If we have the correct type of critical thinking, we can do a lot of things and if we have been trained in politics, we do not have to worry about politics,” he said.
Sim said with members having the right critical thinking, the party have a chance to win more seats in the next state election or in the coming general election.
Sim urged party members to emulate the past founding fathers of SUPP, including Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui, Tan Sri Stephen Yong Kueh Tze, Datuk Chan Siaw Hee and Barbara Bay, whose contribution to the party was immense.
“These founding members had made us all proud,” Sim said.
He said the decision of the past leaders for the party to form a coalition government with Parti Bumiputera (which was later renamed Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu after the merger with Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak) after the state election in 1970 was an historic move.
He said the formation of the coalition government later led to the formation of the Barisan Nasional with more parties joining in.
On the annual raising of the party’s flag, he said it is in remembrance of the sacrifice and struggle of the past leaders and members.
“Because of the spirit of their sacrifice and struggle, many were detained for many years,” he said. – dayakdaily.com