KUCHING — Voter displeasure with the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has been identified as the main cause of the defeat of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Sibu Parliamentary by-election yesterday, SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan said today.

George Chan Hong Nam

“Slightly more than 50 per cent of the people are not happy with the SUPP. Obviously, we got to go down to the ground to find out why,” he told reporters after the opening of the 16th State Legislative Assembly meeting by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, here.

Dr Chan, who is a Sarawak deputy chief minister, said the party would conduct a post-mortem to find out why the voters rejected the SUPP and, at the same time, come up with a strategy to regain their support.

“At the moment, we do not know why people are not happy with the SUPP. We will do a post-mortem before the next state election,” he said.

Dr Chan said the party would try to complete the post-mortem as soon as possible in view of the next state election, which is due any time now.

On the possibility that SUPP picked a candidate who was disliked by the voters, Dr Chan defended the selection of Robert Law Hui Yew and said he represented the new image of the party and to give fresh faces a chance in the state political arena.

“The candidate is new; to me he is a very good candidate. I believe that in the next few years, if he works very hard, he should have a good chance,” he said.

DAP’s Wong Ho Leng won the by-election with a majority of 398 votes. He polled 18,845 votes to beat Hui Yew, who garnered 18,447 votes, and independent candidate Narawi Haron, who only managed 232 votes. — Bernama