LATEST UPDATE FROM MIRI
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Tan Sri Dr George Chan will quit politics and give up all party and state government duties.
Dr Chan, who is also Sarawak deputy chief minister, made the decision following his surprise loss to the DAP for the Piasau seat in the state polls on Saturday, according to a report in The Star today.
“I am quitting active politics. I will meet SUPP party leaders on Tuesday. After I have discussed with them in detail about a leadership transition, I will make my announcement,” he was reported as saying.
“It is time to go. Enough of politics. What I hope for is that SUPP will be in good hands and that the party will continue to play a role in serving the people in Sarawak.”
Dr Chan (picture) also told the English daily he bore no ill-will towards constituents who voted for the DAP after supporting him for 30 years.
“I don’t blame anyone and there is no bitterness in my heart,” he said.
He added that he would continue to be in Miri and try to help the city in another capacity.
“I love Miri. This election result will not decrease my love for Miri and its people,” Dr Chan said.
SUPP, which claims to represent the state’s Chinese community, suffered an embarrassing defeat on Saturday when it lost to the DAP in 12 mostly Chinese-majority seats.
When the results were announced, SUPP, the oldest party in Sarawak, found it had only won six of the 19 state seats it contested.
Only two were Chinese-majority seats while the remaining four were Dayak-majority constituencies.
The outcome for SUPP mirrors that of coalition partner MCA in the Election 2008 “political tsunami”, which saw the peninsula Chinese party’s parliamentary representation cut by half from 31 to 15 seats.
SUPP’s biggest blow on Saturday was dealt when Dr Chan was toppled by political newcomer Ling Sie Kiong from the DAP.
The 75-year-old Dr Chan was defeated by 1,590 votes by first-time contender Ling, a lawyer less than half his age.