SUPP stakes claim for bigger representation in state Cabinet

Michael Tiang

KUCHING, July 17: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) should be accorded a second full minister in the state Cabinet amid its long affiliation with the ruling coalition.

Its Youth chief Michael Tiang said the party has stood by the coalition through thick and thin and never waver their loyalty to the state government or its coalition members.

SUPP has proven to be a good partner (since joining the state Barisan Nasional coalition in 1970), he added.

The party also formed Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) with Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Progressive Democratic Party in June last year, following the fall of the Barisan government in Putrajaya after GE14.

“SUPP Youth Central echoes the proposal that the party be accorded a second full minister’s post following the resignation of Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.

“The resignation has left a vacuum in the Sarawak Cabinet and in the event of a reshuffle, we would like to propose a second full minister’s post for our party,” he said in a statement.

Tiang, who is also political secretary to the Chief Minister, was responding to former SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who stated that it would be good for the Chinese community if the Second Finance Minister’s post was allocated to the party.

Wong, who is also Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president, was also International Trade and eCommerce Minister.

He was made Second Finance Minister, a post he held for 15 years, when he was in SUPP. Wong continued to hold the post when he left the party following a leadership tussle in 2014

Tiang believed that a Cabinet restructuring is imminent and expressed hope that SUPP would be given more position in terms of assistant ministers.

“The portfolio is up to the prerogative of the chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) and I believe that with additional Chinese in the Cabinet, this will reflect the diversity in Sarawak,” he said.

Tiang felt that such appointments could reflect Sarawak as showing the way to the rest of Malaysia, that the state ruling coalition is a close-knit family when it comes to working together.

“With a second full minister and other appointments, this will enable the party to serve the people better within GPS,” he said.

At current, SUPP has a full minister in Local Government and Housing held by its president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Party treasurer Datuk Francis Harden Hollis is Assistant Minister for Community Wellbeing, while vice-president Datuk Lee Kim Shin is Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture. — DayakDaily