The full text of Sarawak United People’s Party president full text speech at the party 21st Triennial Delegates Conference, Kuching Dec 13, 2008.
In June next year, our party will be 50 years old. In this half a century history, our party has gone through various trials and tribulations.
Our pioneering leaders such as the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Ong Kee Hui, the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong and others have good foresight and long term vision for our party as reflected in the noble objects of our party’s constitution.
The main objects have stood the test of time and are still relevant today. Not many political parties can survive for half a century. Today, let us walk through some of the memory lanes and milestones of our party.
I hope the political struggles of our past leaders will give us all the inspiration and determination needed to reinforce and re-energize our effort to strengthen our party.
Our party encountered various obstacles from the colonial government in the early years of its formation.
When Malaysia was formed in 1963, our party also faced an uphill political battle as a number of our cadres and members were detained for alleged subversive activities.
It was only after 1970 when our party formed the State Coalition Government that they were released. Since then, our state has enjoyed stability, progress, peace and harmony.
We can take pride that our party played a crucial role in ensuring political stability, social and economic progress since forming the State Coalition Government 38 years ago.
The progress and prosperity enjoyed by the people today are attributed to the wisdom of our past leaders in working together with other component parties to initially form the 1970 Coalition Government and later the Barisan, Nasional in 1974.
Our party has always placed top priority on political stability, peace and unity for Sarawak and its people. This was again reflected in the 1987 Ming Court political crisis where our party cooperated and worked closely with BN component parties to win the state election and restore political stability.
Since then Sarawak has continued to grow, progress and prosper. However, in the May 20th, 2006 state election, our party suffered a major setback when it lost eight seats out of the 19 it contested.
Then came the 8th March 2008 parliamentary election where the opposition consisting Keadilan, DAP and PAS won in five states in Peninsular Malaysia and formed the government.
Umno, MCA and MIC suffered serious setbacks and Gerakan was wiped out in Penang. BN lost 81 parliamentary seats and its two-third majority. Fortunately, our party did better. We won six of the seven seats contested.
Political pundits expected SUPP to lose badly because of the poor results of the May 20th, 2006 state election plus our internal problem. But we proved them wrong! How? Because we forgot our internal problems and worked together to win the election.
There were no sabotaging, there was no backs tabbing. We were united in one purpose to win all our seats for SUPP. The critical question before us’ all today is how is our party going to regain its strength and move forward.
The most basic and fundamental answer is unity. United we stand, divided we fall. We all know that unity is strength. It is only with a united party that we can derive our strength to overcome the challenges ahead and move forward.
Hence I have proposed to use the theme ‘Forward in Unity’ for our Triennial Delegates Conference this, year. Today, in this delegates’ conference, may I humbly appeal to all of you to have a positive mindset to boost the morale of the party and avoid personal attacks on any leader or member.