SUPP – a party rejuvenated

A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.

– John Maxwell, American author

The re-election of Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian as the president of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) over the weekend was not unexpected.

At the party’s triennial delegates conference (TDC) in Kuching, Dr Sim and other key leaders such as deputy president Datuk Richard Riot, secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting, treasurer-general Datuk Francis Hardin, were all re-elected unopposed.

The smooth two-day TDC proceedings plus the quiet electoral process, without the ugly contests for key party posts, is a clear indication that SUPP was back to its glory days of a strong, united party. SUPP has, once again, lives up to its name.

Indeed, Sarawak’s oldest political party could do without the internal strife like the ugly 2013 episode when certain power-crazy people attempted to wrest control of the party. When they failed, they even tried to get SUPP de-registered. Happily, SUPP has now bade farewell and said good riddance to bad rubbish.

It was evident over the weekend that party delegates had agreed to keep the team, helmed by a trusted, humble and now very confident president in Dr Sim.

Why not when the cardiologist-turned-politician has worked doubly hard to lead SUPP to its roaring success in last December’s elections. That the party managed to win 13 assembly seats surprised even the most ardent SUPP supporter.

When Dr Sim made his electoral debut during the 2011 Sarawak elections, his slogan was “real heart, real action and real change” for the people, declaring that SUPP, a component party in the Sarawak government, would be able to meet the people’s rising demands and address their problems.

“I believe I can offer a better chance for change to take place. We are promising real actions to see real tangible outcomes. We do things, instead of pointing here and there. SUPP will take the lead in urban rejuvenation”, added Dr Sim as he launched his website,

However, the newbie politician lost in his maiden outing but bounced back in Batu Kawa five years later in 2016. After being appointed a minister, Dr Sim went straight to work, keeping a punishing pace of working from 7am to 1am.

Fast forward to 2022, it is fair to say that Dr Sim has come of age as a political leader. Even the most hard-core SUPP critic will have to concede that the SUPP president works his heart out. His 5000 plus votes majority in Batu Kawa is proof that the voters and Sarawakians in general approved of him and his leadership.

Indeed, it is so important for political leaders to keep themselves fit and healthy in order to be effective, hands-on tacklers of issues and problems facing our communities.

One thing which I find admirable in politicians is humility and Dr Sim has that aplenty. He has also exhorted his team to stay humble at all times, ever-ready to ‘turun padang’ and attend to the people’s problems, saying that “we must be ready at all times when the people need help”.

Dr Sim also told his elected representatives that “our staff and helpers at our service centres must be trained and taught to exercise humility at all times in dealing with the public”.

Indeed, political humility has also been found to be effective in engaging others with different political perspectives. Dr Sim knows this and that is why he is asking his colleagues to keep humility in focus.

Supporters of SUPP and Sarawakians, in general, must be glad that SUPP has now awakened from its slumber.

It was once badly wounded but thankfully, through the hard work and ‘leadership by example’ style of Dr Sim, SUPP is now a rejuvenated party.

As Dr Sim has promised in 2011 that “SUPP will take the lead in urban rejuvenation”, the party and its president had and would continue to fulfil what had been promised.

There is a long list of projects already carried out under Dr Sim’s ministry over the past six years and we can expect more to come over the next five years.

“SUPP is a party that walks its talk and we will continue to walk the talk and work tirelessly and with humility for the people of Sarawak”, said Dr Sim.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune. Feedback can reach the writer at

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