Has Riot gone over SUPP president’s head?

An academic has questioned the recent announcement by Richard Riot to name potential candidates for the Mambong state constituency In Sarawak. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: An academic has criticised SUPP deputy president Richard Riot for apparent arrogance in naming his party’s potential candidates for Mambong in the coming state election.

Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putra Malaysia said Riot had gone over the party president’s head in announcing his shortlist of Andrew Victor Nub, Jimson Jium and Ahkim Sarok Jating.

“He has forgotten that he is only the party’s deputy president,” Jawan told FMT. “He can suggest names but he should not announce it to the media as this is against protocol and can be read as pressuring the party president.

“It is not nice to give three names to the public since only one will be chosen. Those who are not selected will feel dejected and may sabotage the selected candidate.”

However, Jawan did allow for the possibility that SUPP had sanctioned Riot’s announcement in order to test the waters to see how Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) would react.

“Perhaps it’s just a strategy by SUPP,” he said. “Riot’s words can be withdrawn because he is not the number one leader in the party.”

Jerip Susil who won the seat while in SUPP and then joined PBB after quitting Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) last year, is the current assemblyman for Mambong.

PSB is a splinter party of SUPP.

Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya alleged that Riot was trying to lobby for his friends.

He noted that the PPB-led Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), of which SUPP is a member, had yet to make an official announcement on the matter.

“It would be more appropriate for GPS chairman Abang Johari Openg to announce the candidates for the next state election to prevent individuals from lobbying for their friends,” he told FMT.

He also said Susil still stood a chance to contest in the election since he was now a member of PBB, the backbone party of the Sarawak government.

“Susil is popular and still has strong grassroots support in his constituency,” he said. “However, the final decision is in Abang Johari’s hands.

“SUPP must abide by PBB’s decision as its president is also the chief minister of Sarawak.”