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SUPP leader George Chan must go

Dear SUPP central working committee members,

Tomorrow is Sarawak United Peoples' Party's D-Day. The time has come for all you, as the top decision-making body in the party, to settle once and for all the question that has plagued the minds of thousands of SUPP members for the past 10 years.

Is the SUPP leadership representing the Chinese community of Sarawak and the people of Sarawak generally, or the political interest of the ministers and the top leadership?

For the 10 years, it is crystal clear to any thinking Chinese, the following has happened:

1. Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is the new 'rajah' of Sarawak. The recent backlash against him in the 2006 state election is an open indictment against him. SUPP's refusal to acknowledge this fact, blaming the loss on 'land lease' and 'fuel hike', is making SUPP a laughing stock even among Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) members. The CM was the key issue why SUPP lost and even the vegetable seller in Satok knows this.

Taib has a fortune of at least RM2 billion (this figure cannot be disputed as his family owns at least 73% of RHB Bank and Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS). RHB is being sold to the government and Employees Provident Fund for at least RM2.1 billion). How is it possible for Taib to get this kind of wealth in 26 years as CM?

2. The Chinese community are increasingly being marginalised by PBB, and within Malaysia by Umno. Today, so many issues are 'sensitive' because PBB and Umno say so. SUPP do not even raise a voice in cabinet meetings when policies clearly designed to marginalise the Chinese are discussed. How can SUPP leaders accept the fact that the Finance Ministry was taken away from them?

SUPP, despite having the so-called policy of "participation in government" cannot even get the CM to announce, during the crucial election campaign period, that the state would automatically renew land lease with a reasonable premium. Is SUPP so impotent that it cannot even get the CM to reassure the Chinese community? What is the use of all those meetings between the SUPP president and the CM to "discuss issues" when something as simple as getting the CM to issue a statement cannot be done?

3. Taib clearly wants to restructure Sarawak politics to make PBB the Umno of Sarawak where all the other BN component parties are merely window-dressing. Look at the humiliation of MCA and Gerakan when they cannot even get an apology from Umno deputy youth chief when he made obvious racial statements against them.

In the past 10 years, Taib has outmaneuver the majority Ibans, who are now even more disunited as ever. Ask yourself, how come under Taib's watch, you have so many Iban parties created and shut down. To name a few:

  • Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), formed 1983
  • Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), formed in 2002
  • Sarawak People's Party (PRS), formed in 2003
  • Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC), still waiting for registration.

Today the Ibans, despite being the largest grouping in Sarawak, are in no position to politically assert themselves. Even in PBB circles, Alfred Jabu is seen as a Taib's court jester. How else can you explain Jabu helping Taib to destroy the political unity of his own people. With Jabu as DCM, the Ibans is number one in both rural and urban poverty in Sarawak.

Now, ask yourself, with the Ibans politically destroyed, who is next in line? Isn't the answer obvious - the Chinese are due for "restructuring". If you want to restructure the Chinese the first thing you need is a "Chinese Jabu", someone who will do whatever Taib wants and, yes, you guessed it, Taib has a Chinese Jabu in the name of SUPP leader George Chan.

4. Let's look at George Chan's record. He became DCM in 1996 and Taib's CMS/RHB took off in 1998. Is this mere coincidence? Ask yourself why do people fear Chan? Is it because of his 'power'? Hell no, people are afraid of him because of his 'relations' to Taib. Ever since his daughter became Taib's daughter-in-law, he has been behaving as the new 'rajah' in SUPP. Everybody in SUPP seem to think that he is now untouchable because he is Taib's in-law. The truth is, because he is Taib's in-law, Taib is using him to destroy SUPP.

Nobody in SUPP today talks about Chan's power (since he has none). All they talk about is how he is Taib's in-law and cannot be challenged. Indeed at the last SUPP triennial general meeting nobody wants to talk about Taib, leading to one delegate from Sibu to say that "we are all talking about everything under the sun except the real issue - the one with the white hair".

Perhaps his greatest failure is to keep the party strong but always play running dog to Taib. How else can you explain the fact that SUPP only got two out of nine new seats. Most party members had expected three seats. How can PBB grab more than 50% of the new seats without a single protest from Chan?

Is it any wonder that the Chinese voters had made up their mind on who should represent them the moment the seat allocation was announced. Even a loyal party member like me cannot defend this seat allocation. SUPP is made to look like a 'mosquito' party, far from an 'equal' partner in government.

Chan also did not defend the party's assemblyperson from PBB pressure. Everyone knows that the incumbent SUPP Meradong representative was in commercial dispute with Taib's brother. Since this is a private dispute why should SUPP replace him? Why should Chan do Taib's dirty work? In fact it was not even Taib, but his brother. Is Chan such a running dog now that he will even do the wishes of Taib's brother, who is not even an assemblyperson. How can any SUPP member believe that Chan will defend the party when he willingly sacrifice a SUPP assemblyperson just because Taib's brother is unhappy?

SUPP became a laughing stock when PBB tried to place one of its candidate, Wong Sim Nang, into SUPP. Chan pushed so hard and even tried to get the SUPP Sibu to accept him. Luckily SUPP Sibu is strong enough to tell Chan to "go to hell". But the voter in the street understood the whole episode as SUPP as nothing more but a PBB subsidiary. How can Chan allow PBB to select SUPP candidates? What party leader in Malaysia allows his own party to be used by outsiders?

In the last election, Taib's PBB fielded 35 candidates, SUPP, 19, Sarawak People's Party (PRS), 9 and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), 8. This means PBB can rule Sarawak on its own since a simple majority in the state assembly is 36 seats. We know that two assemblypersons in SPDP are actually PBB men. So what 'power' has SUPP got?

Dear SUPP central working committee members, the Chinese community is looking at you.

They are hoping that you will return SUPP to its roots and work to represent the Chinese community. The time has come, SUPP is now at the crossroads. If you do not remove George Chan and called for an emergency general meeting, SUPP can renamed itself as Chan Inc, a subsidiary of PBB Inc.

This is the last opportunity for all of you to behave honourably and vote with your conscience. Do not fear Chan and his in-laws. The truth is, Taib does not take him seriously. If Chan is not removed, Taib will have even less respect for the Chinese community.

The future is in your hands.