Oh, so easy for Adenan to decide on UPP chief’s fate

SARAWAK FOCUS: All those pledges of “sink and swim” with their president Wong Soon Koh from United People’s Party (UPP) branches and officials look rather awkward and strange.

They just don’t gel with the smiling faces of those UPP officials who posed for the camera after meeting state BN chairman and Chief Minister Adenan Satem, on Dec 17.

Emerging from the meeting, the members of the UPP delegation were described as looking “relieved and were all smiling, apparently satisfied with what transpired during the discussion”.

“We are happy with the discussion that we had. It was a good meeting but we cannot disclose the content of the discussion,” was how one of the officials put it when pressed for details.

If indeed the UPP people were “happy” and that the discussion was “good”, why the flurry of “sink and swim” pledges when it was reported on Dec 18, just a day after the meeting with Adenan, that Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) had set a pre-condition before any negotiation could begin – that Wong retires and SUPP president Dr Sim Kui Hian will not stand in the 11th state election?

Whatever those smiling faces were for, they really don’t mean much after all, because if Adenan had said something so very assuring, SUPP’s precondition should not worry the UPP people a wee bit.

SUPP can set whatever precondition it wants to, but what does that matter if Adenan had said something that was reason enough to make the UPP people smile from ear to ear?

Perhaps it was what Adenan did not say that had made the UPP people “happy”?

Perhaps the UPP people thought Adenan’s silence is golden, so that was reason enough to smile?

Still, the UPP people looking “relieved and were all smiling, apparently satisfied with what transpired during the discussion”, does not make much sense when in the days following the report of the SUPP’s precondition, the branches and officials were declaring their loyalty to Wong.

The flurry of pledges came fast and thick.

UPP deputy president Dr Jerip Susil said: “If the news report is true, UPP categorically rejects the proposal for Datuk​ Sri Wong to retire from politics as a pre-condition to negotiations. Such a pre-condition smacks of bad faith and shows a personal vendetta aiming to get rid of Datuk​ Sri Wong. It will not lead to any possible compromise.

“We stand by our president and we hope that he is still our president for many years to come. He is our leader and we will stick with him through thick and thin.

“He (Wong) is not only a very experienced politician, but an experienced leader as well. UPP as a new party needs him to move forward and we hope that he can propel our party to greater heights.”

UPP Serian branch chief Senior Rade said: “We will never allow that to happen. Let me stress to our rival that we are strongly and solidly behind Datuk​ Sri Wong Soon Koh’s leadership. We will not waver even an inch but give him our solid support. He (Wong) is part and parcel of UPP. He, together with other senior party leaders, has successfully manoeuvred the party through thick and thin until where the party stands today.

“The party under Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh has implemented many good policies for the benefit of the people. Thus our bitter rival’s statement to demand that he should retire is mischievous and bankrupt of good and positive ideas. They know very well that he has the solid support of the people, that’s why they (SUPP) demand that he should retire.”

But what did Wong himself say?

He was quoted as saying: “My party all over the state has spoken. There is no need for me to say anything. I leave it to the chief minister to decide.”

For Adenan to decide Wong’s fate, that’s nasi (literally rice)

When someone says a task is nasi, he means it’s easily done. What can be much easier than eating?

Why is deciding Wong’s fate so easy? Because it is normal for party members to declare their pledges of loyalty to their boss and tell all and sundry that he should remain because no one is better than him.

When Abdul Taib Mahmud was still chief minister, several times he spoke about wanting to retire, and each time people around him, people who actually coveted his position, would jump up and say, no please remain, you are irreplaceable, Sarawak still needs you, we still need you, you are our beloved chief minister.

But when he finally retired and Adenan took over, about the same people said Adenan was the best choice, the natural choice, second to none etc.

And Taib was kind of forgotten.

It will not be so much different for Wong, if he leaves.

Those “sink and swim” pledges? You can bet the lieutenants will swim – and leave him to sink if he can’t swim with them.-The Ant Daily

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