SIBU: The United People’s Party (UPP) sees its place in the Sarawak Government assured under the Barisan Nasional (BN) Plus Formula after a meeting in Putrajaya last week with Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Pro tem chairman of UPP Wong Soon Koh said in a statement that there were 40 party leaders with him when he met with the Home Minister.
According to him, it was a courtesy call to thank Zahid for registering UPP as a political party. “Zahid gave us words of encouragement and advice on our political commitment to BN,” said Wong who is also Second Finance and Local Government and Community Development Minister.
“There should be no more doubts about the new party being a part of the BN family, as UPP had been well acknowledged as a component under the BN Plus formula.”
He reiterated that no one should also doubt UPP’s existence in the BN fold.
“If we are not in the BN family, we won’t be playing key leadership roles in the BN fold and the Sarawak Government,” he said.
Among other UPP candidates, he said that Tiong Thai King was chairman of Sibu Municipal Council and Oliver Kuo was the deputy chairman of Sarawak Rural District Council.
Following the meeting with Zahid, Wong said the party would call on Prime Minister Najib Razak and Chief Minister Adenan Satem to share its aspirations as a member of the ruling coalition and update them on the progress made on the ground.
“The BN has already declared that it would only field winnable candidates in the next state election due in 2016,” said Wong in a reference to the number of seats that UPP would contest under the BN banner. “The UPP setup was not about ‘waging a war’, rather it would provide a new political platform for members and supporters.”
UPP was formed in May by defectors from the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak’s oldest, which came to the brink of de-registration after in-fighting.