Peter Chin appears to be facing fiery start to his tenure as party president of a deeply divided SUPP.
KUCHING: Was it a coincidence that a van which delivered medical supplies to a clinic situated above federal minister Peter Chinâ€™s service centre in Miri should self-destruct in the carpark below?
The incident which occurred at 8.20am yesterday is fast becoming a hot topic of discussion.
Rumours of sabotage targeting Chinâ€™s leadership and his newly elected Sarawak United Peopleâ€™s Party (SUPP) team have been floating following an early morning fire which gutted the partyâ€™s headquarters on Tuesday, barely 48 hours after its controversial elections.
Many speculated that Tuesdayâ€™s fire was a warning to Chinâ€™s leadership.
Chin and his team were elected on Sunday during the partyâ€™s contentious triennial delegates conference (TDC).
Chin was involved in a deeply divisive race for the presidency with former party deputy secretary- general Wong Soon Koh.
During the elections, Wongâ€™s supporters complained of irregularities in the election process and they lodged reports with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
Pending ROS investigation and outcome, Wong had called for the TDC to be postponed as to hold it would be illegal.
He and his team boycotted the TDC and forfeited their respective candidacy.
Subsequently, Wong had claimed that Chinâ€™s election was â€śillegalâ€ť and that the partyâ€™s legitimacy was pending ROS outcome.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating the cause of the fire at the SUPP headquarters.
Sarawak police chief Mortaza Nazarene said that investigations by the Fire and Rescue Department had not come up with any evidence of arson.
As the investigations were going on, he advised the people not to make any speculation based on a chain of events that occurred before and after the TDC.
â€śWe are investigating and looking at factual evidence that has been conveyed to us,â€ť he told reporters.
Dismissing rumours, Chinâ€™s political secretary Sebastian Ting said police had â€śconfirmedâ€ť that the fire was caused by a short-circuit and the incident had â€śnothing to do with the TDCâ€ť.
When contacted, police in Miri refused to say anything, but it is understood that security has been tightened around the compound of Chinâ€™s residence and his service centre.