Netizen 24 MYS: All gloomy on UPP front ahead of GE14

By On April 15, 2018

All gloomy on UPP front ahead of GE14

The party has been eyeing three parliamentary seats but until now, there has been no news of it getting even one.

SUPP’s Dr Sim Hui Kian (left) and UPP’s Wong Soon Koh shaking hands after signing the MoU on March 23. UPP leaders may now be regretting the move as their party has been placed at a disadvantage.

KUCHING: Nomination day for the coming election (GE14) is less than two weeks away but the United People’s Party (UPP) is caught in limbo.

At this eleventh hour, the party is still unsure of how many seats, if any at all, will be given to its candidates.

UPP, a breakaway party of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), has been put in a “precarious” position following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two rival parties several weeks ago.

In the Mo U, inked by SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian and UPP president Wong Soon Koh, in the presence of Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg, the two parties pledged to work together for GE14.

But it appears that UPP leaders are now regretting their decision to sign the agreement.

With Sarawak Barisan Nasional’s (BN) ruling that only candidates from BN component parties are eligible to contest for the coalition, UPP, which is only a BN-friendly party, is now an “outsider”. Its candidates will have to contest under the SUPP/BN banner.

It is no secret that UPP has been eyeing three parliamentary seats, Bandar Sibu, Lanang and Sarikei, all in its bastion in central Sarawak. The three seats are held by DAP.

A few months ago, Wong named UPP’s potential candidates for Bandar Sibu and Lanang. However, his move was heavily criticised by state BN leaders, as it was considered as “jumping the gun”.

Traditionally, SUPP is allocated seven parliamentary se ats. It is reliably learnt that the party is only prepared to offer UPP the Lanang seat. Sarikei is still being negotiated but it is unlikely the Sarikei SUPP branch will surrender the seat to UPP.

“Up till now, we are still unsure whether we will get to contest any seat at all. This uncertainty has demoralised many of us,” a UPP branch leader said.

He added that things looked gloomy for UPP at the moment as the party was likely to be given only one or two seats and not the three in central Sarawak which it has been fighting for.

The long wait for a decision by the top BN leaders has not helped either, he said.

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