Sarawak United Peoples' Party
|Sarawak United Peoples' Party|
|Leader||Peter Chin Fah Kui|
|Newspaper||SA 'ATI (United)|
|Youth wing||SUPP Youth Section|
|National affiliation||Alliance (1970-1973)
Barisan Nasional (1973-present)
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Sarawak United Peoples' Party, or SUPP (Chinese: 砂拉越人民联合党; Malay: Parti Rakyat Bersatu Sarawak; Iban: Gerempong Ra'ayat Sa'ati Sarawak)) is a political party in Malaysia. The party is one of the constituent members of the ruling Barisan Nasional. It was established in 1959 mainly by leftists and working class Chinese, many of whom were members of the underground communist movement in Sarawak.
For the first decade of its existence, many of its members were deported from Sarawak for communist activities. Several of its senior members moved across the border into Kalimantan where they took up arms against the Sarawak government.
In the early 1960s, SUPP opposed the formation of the Malaysian state. Along with Partai Rakyat Brunei and National Pasok Momogun Party, SUPP sent a memorandum to the United Nations demanding that the people of Northern Borneo be given right to self-determination and that the status of the area would be decided in a plebiscite.
The future of the SUPP remains uncertain after its unsuccessful performance in the Sarawak State Election held in April 2011, in which it lost most of the seats that it contested.
On the 13th General Election, SUPP suffered a major setback. It only won 1 out of 7 seats contested, with them losing the contests in Stampin, Sarikei and Lanang to DAP, while Miri to PKR. Its only Bumiputera candidate, Datuk Richard Riot Jaem successfully defended the Serian seat.
Party members and leadership structure
SUPP members of the 13th Parliament of Malaysia
In the Malaysian general election, 2008, SUPP managed to retain all of the seats it won previously. Compared to Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia and Malaysian Chinese Association, the party defended most of its Chinese majority seats from falling to the opposition, save for the Bandar Kuching Parliamentary seat, in which the Democratic Action Party incumbent managed to retain his seat.
On 9 April 2010, Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, Member of Parliament of Sibu, and also Vice-President of the Party, died due to liver cancer. Deputy Secretary-General of SUPP, Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh had announced that they are ready for the upcoming by-election. They nominated Robert Lau's cousin, Robert Lau Hui Yew to contest for the Sibu by-election on 16 May 2010.
In the by-election, SUPP was beaten by a candidate from the DAP despite personal campaigning by the PM, Najib.
The current president of the party is Datuk Seri Peter Chin who is a Federal Minister. He took over in 2011 after the then party president, Datuk George Chan, was defeat in the 2011 Sarawak state elections.
- Chin, Ung Ho. 1997. Chinese Politics in Sarawak: a Study of the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 983-56-0039-2
- James Chin. 2011. Forced to the Periphery: Recent Chinese Politics in East Malaysia. Singapore: ISEAS