SUPP: UMNO has right to choose its allies

Sarawak United Peoples' Party logo.

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KUCHING: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) holds the view that as long as the UMNO-PAS coalition is not an official decision made within the Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council, the relationship between the two parties will remain a “private arrangement”.

Its president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian today clarified the party’s stance on the UMNO-PAS coalition with a three-paragraph statement.

“As long as it (UMNO-PAS coalition) is not passed by the BN Supreme Council, any form of UMNO-PAS co-operation remains a private arrangement between the two parties,” said Dr Sim.

Dr Sim who is also Local Government and Housing Minister, stressed that SUPP and PAS may be friends on a personal level, but the party could not agree with PAS’ political philosophy of governance and it would not waiver in its stance.

“While we are sure PAS members are nice and we can have kopi anytime, SUPP does not agree with PAS’ political philosophy of governance; that (our position) will not waiver according to convenience, unlike DAP,” said Dr Sim.

He however, said he respected UMNO’s right in choosing its allies.

“We respect other BN allies’ stance including UMNO’s even though we disagree, just like how UMNO respects our stance to recognise the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the BM Bible even though they disagree,” said Dr Sim.

Dr Sim was asked to comment on the recent statement made by PBB supreme council member Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who said he had no issue in UMNO combining forces with PAS in Peninsular Malaysia, saying that it will make BN stronger in the coming general election.

“Anything that can bring strength and unity to BN and Malaysia is very much welcome and if this electoral pact would serve that purpose, then why not,” Abdul Karim who is also Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, on the same issue, state DAP in a press conference today described the possible coalition of UMNO-PAS as “a coalition of extreme racism and religious bigotry.”

Its state chairman Chong Chieng Jen said it would be a worst combination which is supported by all Sarawak component parties of PBB, SUPP, PDP and PRS.

Chong particularly questioned the “silence” of SUPP on the issue.

Meanwhile, PDP secretary-general Paul Igai when contacted said the UMNO-PAS pact was UMNO’s prerogative.

“In my personal view, it is UMNO’s prerogative and we shouldn’t be too concerned at this stage.

“And if it’s for the good of all law-abiding Malaysians, why not?

“UMNO and its president will surely brief the BN supreme council of any pertinent issues coming out of it,” said Paul in a WhatsApp message.