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Friday, 20 April 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Group stages protest at Barisan Nasional event

SIBU: Posters opposing a possible candidate for the Sibu parliamentary seat were displayed.

Some in the 2,000 strong crowd at Sibu Gateway on Wednesday night, held up placards and banthat included statements such as “P212 Sibu belongs to SUPP candidate” in Chinese and Mandarin.

Although no one was named, the messages seemed to be directed at United People’s Party (UPP) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh whose son Datuk Andrew Wong is believed to be eyeing the seat.

The senior Wong is the Bawang Assan assemblyman and also state International Trade and E-commerce Minister.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who launched the event, had mediated the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and its splinter group, UPP.

The MoU was aimed at uniting both parties for the sake of the Chinese community here.

SUPP Central deputy president Chieng Buong Toon said the Sibu parliamentary seat had traditionally belonged to SUPP.

“The Chief Minister had declared that there will be no Barisan plus candidate in this election, which means nobody should take the Sibu seat from us,” he said, adding that party leaders know which branches were involved in the protest,

Soon Koh declined to comment on the matter when contacted.

SUPP have shortlisted two potential candidates – Bawang Assan branch chairman Robert Lau Hui Yew and the Chief Minister’s political secretary – for the seat.

Sibu is expected to see a four-cornered fight between incumbent Oscar Ling (DAP), Barisan candidate from SUPP or UPP, Simon Tiong of Sarawak Reform Party and Jamie Tiew of United Borneo Alliance (comprising Sabah and Sarawak parties).