KUCHING (March 29): The Sarawak United Peoples' Party (SUPP) is seen as an out-of-touch party and a political analyst believed it could not retain many seats in the next general election.
“SUPP is a gone case. The point that they recycle old faces in SUPP means that the party cannot rejuvenate," said Unimas associate professor Dr Andrew Aeria
Aeria told fz.com that although SUPP's incumbent MP in Stampin Datuk Yong Khoon Seng is the party's best winnable candidate, his popularity alone cannot help the party retain the seat.
“Being a nice guy cannot win elections, it takes more than personality. The situation is different now, and national issues is the key, party identification is the key, and there is the corruption issue. Yong cannot turn the whole thing around,” he said.
According to Aeria, the last state election had clearly indicated this when Dr Sim Kui Hian, a respectable cardiologist that was well liked by many, failed to win in the tussle for Pending seat for SUPP. He lost by an unexpected some 7,500 votes.
The 72-year-old Yong has spoken publicly on many occasions of his intention to retire when his term ends.
However, according to recent reports in local dailies, Yong seemed to have changed his tune, suggesting that he may seek a re-election. The reports quoted him as saying that he would leave it to the prime minister to decide his political fate.
This was contrary to an earlier development where aspiring SUPP candidate Wilfred Yap, who was not as well-known, was to be fielded.
While most people agreed that Yong was indeed BN’s best winnable candidate due to his popularity among the Chinese community, some have expressed their views that this would be his last disappointing battle.
Elected as an MP in 1990, Yong served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Works Minister for about a decade. He was appointed deputy minister on March 19, 2008.
As an SUPP member, Yong was also "unique" as he did not take sides when rival factions emerged and the party split right through the middle.
There are three state seats within the Stampin constituency — Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa and Batu Kawah — and all are held by the opposition.