Wong Soon Koh was initially with PRS before setting up his own party United People's Party together with former SUPP members.

Wong Soon Koh was initially with PRS before setting up his own party United People’s Party together with former SUPP members.

KUCHING: The newly registered United People’s Party (UPP), which is formed by a splinter group from Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), is not at all like ‘old wine in a new bottle’, said its protem chairman Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh.

“No, no as I have said it is a new beginning. There is nothing to look back, ours is totally a new beginning,” he told reporters at the launch of the party here Saturday.

“There is no way in comparison to SUPP,” he said when asked if both parties were for the Chinese in Sarawak.

Wong, who is also state Local Government and Community Development Minister, said UPP was a multi-racial party with a bit of emphasis on the urban community that happened to have more Chinese residents.

On Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s passionate appeal to leaders of SUPP and UPP to stop fighting and start talking for the state’s political stability as both shared a common goal to unite the Chinese community, he said the leaders involved in UPP were not in the position to comment as they were sacked by the SUPP.

“But if it is initiated by the chief minister then we are willing to do so but they must talk to us in our capacity as leaders of UPP and not as sacked members of SUPP,” he said.

Wong said UPP would be submitting its application to join Barisan Nasional (BN) within the next few weeks.

Asked whether he anticipated objection from SUPP and ways to overcome that, he said: “We leave it to the leaders of BN and the good hands of the chief minister. The chief minister has said so and so we leave it to him.”

Should their application to join BN was rejected by SUPP, he said they would decide on it when they ‘crossed the bridge’.

The state’s Assistant Public Health Minister Datuk Dr Jerip, one of the protem committee members who were present at the launch, said as far as they were concerned the group was still in BN and they functioned as BN representatives.

The other protem committee members, include Opar state assemblyman Ranum Mina, Engkilili state assemblyman Dr Johnical Rayong and lawyer George Lo.

In outlining the 13 points on the party’s role, Wong also highlighted some of the major challenges the party would be facing and pledged its loyalty and support for BN under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Adenan.

Among others, UPP would provide a meaningful and constructive leadership to the people and to continually be responsive to their needs, strive for justice, equality and progress for all communities, he said.

On the challenges to be faced by the party, Wong said UPP members and leaders would work, in particular, towards the day when the Chinese community would be united politically with BN and work in unison with other racial groups to build a truly multi-ethnic developed state of Sarawak. — BERNAMA