A show-cause letter from ROS to president Peter Chin's Bekenu branch has compelled Sarawak United Peoples Party to do a membership audit.
Describing the move as an “important exercise”, party president Peter Chin said it will enhance the quality and loyalty of members towards the SUPP.
“The re-registration of members is an important exercise partly because we want to know where our members are.
“Some members might have died or (have) left to join another party, but their names are still with the party,” said Chin.
He pointed out that one of the problems faced by the party was that the some of the branch members could have passed away but their names still remained on the membership list.
Such irregularities, he said, could have occurred during branch elections of the party in the November 2011, which had led to the former SUPP deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh lodging a complaint with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
Two branches namely Bekenu and Piasau are being questioned by ROS and have been issued with show-cause letters.
Chin is the Bekenu branch chairman.
“That is why the re-registration of the party is very important in order to update the membership of all branches.
“For those who fail to register themselves or refuse to do so, we ask them whether they still want to be members of the party or not,” he said.
Chin said the Central Working Committee (CWC) would look into the mechanism of how to implement the re-registration process.
The re-registration exercise is one of the three resolutions adopted by the party following a-one day meeting of its central committee.
The other two are: (a) for the party’s central committee to take stern and swift disciplinary against members who had tarnished the image of the party, and (b) a call to the government to step up its effort in fighting corruption, illegal gambling (online gambling) and crime.
According to Chin, the CC had received fresh complaints against certain people who had allegedly sabotaged SUPP candidates in the last general election.
“One member will be given a show-cause letter while four of them would be referred to the disciplinary committee for investigation,” he said.
Chin also said that internal rifts can costed the party votes and loss of certain seats in the May parliamentary elections.
SUPP contested in seven constituencies, losing six which are Stampin, Bandar Kuching, Sarikei, Lanang, Sibu and Miri. It won only Serian, a Bidayuh majority constituency.
Asked on the views expressed by the members with regard to the poor showing of the party, Chin said that the members understood the problem faced by the party especially in the urban constituencies.
“Generally speaking they acknowledged the fact that the problem is not faced by the party alone, but also faced by (BN) parties which contested in urban constituencies in the country.
“This is the general scenario and most of our members agreed that it is not something to be blamed on (Peter) Chin or Dr Sim ( Kui Hian, SUPP secretary-general).
“You recall that I tendered my resignation to the CWC, and the same resignation letter was also rejected by all the CC members.
“They realise that it was not my fault or my inability to lead the party. They feel that one or two seats which were the result of internal rifts that had caused the loss of votes which contributed to our party’s defeat,” Chin said.
In the 2011 state election, SUPP lost 13 out of 19 seats it contested.