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About Youth

Brief introduction to the history of
SUPP Central Youth Section
1977-1998

Undeniably, the setting up of the party Central Youth Section has opened a new avenue for activities. Through the activities of Youth Section, the movement has mobilised a large group of young party members to be pro-active. They have through their own ways assisted in the development of party affairs. It can be said that the past Youth Section committees have made contribution towards the growth of the party. The following is a brief history of the formation of the Youth Section.

Undeniably, the setting up of the party Central Youth Section has opened a new avenue for activities. Through the activities of Youth Section, the movement has mobilised a large group of young party members to be pro-active. They have through their own ways assisted in the development of party affairs. It can be said that the past Youth Section committees have made contribution towards the growth of the party. The following is a brief history of the formation of the Youth Section.

1. The Party Delegates Conference adopts the amendments to the party constitution to provide for the formation of two big support wings-Youth and Women Sections

In view of the development of the political situation after the state general elections, the then party Chairman Sdr. Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui mooted the concept of establishing Youth and Women wings as the two major support wings at SUPP’s 9th Delegates Conference in 1976. It was accepted by the delegates attending the conference and subsequently approved by the Delegates Conference including the proposal to amend the party constitution to pave the way for the establishment of the affiliated bodies.

2. Dr. Wong Soon Kai convenes Youth Section Protem Committee Meeting

SUPP Central Working Committee (CWC) appointed Dr. Wong Soon Kai to convene a preparatory working meeting for the establishment of the Youth Section. A protem committee meeting was held at the Party Headquarters at 2.00 p.m. on June 11, 1977. The meeting was attended by:

SUPP Secretary-General – Datuk Stephen K.T.Yong.

Protem Committee President – Dr. Wong Soon Kai

Lim Nai Teck

Dr. Voon Boon Hee

Chieng Tiong Kai

Tieu Sung Seng Loke Yik Ping

Joseph Wang Tinggang

Ho Ho Lim

Tan Chong Meng

Sim Kheng Hui

Lee Sie Tong

Ho Lun Tsan

Chen Kuang Siu

Teo Yong Kiaw

Bong Kee Ling

Jong Kiam Chun

(Total: 17 persons)

The Protem Committee President Dr Wong Soon Kai in his speech called on party members to “enthusiastically join the Youth Section and act positively”. He also put forward several work guidelines:

1. The objectives of forming the Youth Section.
2. The present urgent tasks of Youth Section.
3. The future action and main points of activities of Youth Section.

3. The First, Youth Section Central Committee

The Protem Committee Meeting held on June 11, 1977 formed the First SUPP Central Youth Section Central Committee comprising 15 members:

Chairman: Dr Wong Soon Kai

Deputy Chairman: Lim Nai Teck

Secretary: Tieu Sung Seng

Asst. Secretary: Joseph Wang Tinggang

Treasurer: Dr Voon Boon Hee

Asst. Treasurer: Tan Chong Meng

Members:

Chieng Tiong Kai
Loke Yik Ping
Chen Kuang Siu
Sim Kheng Hui
Ho Ho Lim
Jong Kiam Chun
Lee Sie Tong
Ho Lun Tsan
Teo Yong Kiaw

Several comrades were appointed to undertake the task of forming Youth Section branches in the relevant areas:

Kuching : Jong Kiam Chun

Sibu : Tieu Sung Seng

Miri : Lee Sie Tong

Sarikei : Chieng Tiong Kai

4. Formation of 19 branches under Central Youth Section

Following the growth of the Youth Section and with the untiring efforts of nine Youth Section committees, 19 branches of the Youth Section have been formed within 21 years. Some branches have not less than one affiliated sub-branch:

1. Kuching Branch (2/8/1977)

2. Miri Branch (10/9/1977)
Affiliated Sub-Branch:
Batu Niah Sub-Branch

3. Sarikei Branch (18/9/1977)

4. Sibu Branch (28/9/1977)
Affiliated Sub-Branch:
Sungai Merah Sub-Branch
Sungai Empawah Sub-Branch
Sungai Teku Sub-Branch
Sungai Naman Sub-Branch

5. Binatang Branch (19/2/1978)
–Now called Bintangor Branch

6. Kanowit Branch (26/2/1978)

7. Serian Branch (12/5/1980)

8. Bintulu Branch (1/4/1984)

9. Stampin Branch (16/6/1984)
— Changed to Pending Branch on 18/4/1998

10. Padawan Branch (30/6/1984)
Affiliated Sub-Branches:
Siburan Sub-Branch
Beratok Sub-Branch

11. Bau Branch (29/9/1985)

12. Sri Aman Branch (12/10/1985)

13. Baram Branch (6/12/1985)

14. Limbang Branch (7/12/1985)

15. Lawas Branch . (8/12/1985)

16. Batu Lintang Branch (19/3/1989)

17. Kapit Branch (23/6/1989)

18. Batu Kawa Branch (26/8/1989)
Affiliated Sub-Branches:
7th Mile Sub-Branch
10th Mile Sub-Branch
Segobang Sub-Branch
3rd Mile Sub-Branch
Matang Sub-Branch
Stapok Sub-Branch

19. Mukah Branch (17/4/1993)

5. Youth Section becomes the cradle of cultivating future successors of the party

With the long-term attention and guidance of the party of the party central there, emerges many persons of ability in the movement over the past 21 years. Many leaders of the movement have now become Ministers or Y.B. In the party, some comrades have gradually taken over the helm of first generation party leaders and occupied a place in the party central or other levels of leadership and contributed one’s strength and talents to the party and the nation.

(See Appendix: List of Youth Section Committees for various terms)

6. Amendments to Rules and Regulations of Youth Section to facilitate development of affairs of the movement.

Following the changes in the State’s political situation and the ever growing of the affairs of Youth Section, the movement has made amendments and additions to its Rules and Regulations to further improve its organisational structure.

(1) Prior to amendments to Rules and Regulations of Youth Section:

a) Membership of Branch’s establishment: At least 30 members. Without provisions for the setting up of sub-branches.

b) Branch Committee comprises 13 members. Central Youth Section Committee comprises 18 members. Without the setting up of Executive Committee.

c) Number of delegates to attend Youth Delegates Conference: The number of Branch delegates to be decided by Youth Section Central Committee.

(2) After amendments in 1981:

a) Membership of Branch’s establishment: At least 100
members.

b) Branch Committee members to be increased to 15.

c) Number of delegates to attend Youth Delegates Conference: Regarding the number of delegates to be sent by a branch, for every 50 members, the branch is entitled to send one delegate. However, the number of delegates to attend the conference is not restricted.

(3) Amendments were made in 1985:

a) Membership of Sub-Branch’s establishment: At least 30 members.

b) Committees:
Sub-Branch Committee comprises 21 members.
Branch Committee’s membership increased to 32 (including the newly created Organising Secretary and Asst. Organising Secretary as well as Publicity and Info Secretary and Asst. Publicity and Info Secretary).

Youth Section Committee membership increased to 33 (including the newly created Youth Section. Organising Secretary and Asst, Organising Secretary and also Youth Section Publicity and Info Secretary and Asst. Publicity and Info Secretary).

Branch Youth Section and Central Youth Section also set up Branch Committee (Executive Committee) to execute daily affairs and work of the movement.

The above Committees have three reserved members each.

c) Number of delegates to attend Youth Delegates Conference: Various Branches to send one delegate each for every 50 members but the number should not exceed 50.

(4) Readjustment. were made again following the amendments to the party constitution in 1987:

a) The term of office of Youth Committee is three years.

b) Youth Delegates Conference shall be held once in three years at least.

c) Committees:
Membership of Branch Committees shall be changed to 25.
Youth Central Committee membership to be increased to 39.
The above Youth Committees to have Deputy Chairman while Central Youth Section to have Deputy Secretary General.

d) Number of delegates to attend Youth Delegates Conference: Various Branches to send one delegate each for every 100 members. The Number of Branch delegates to attend Youth Delegates Conference is restricted to not over 40.

(5) The Youth Section Delegates Meeting in 1996 passed a resolution to amend the Rules and Regulations of the movement:

Membership of Youth Section Executive Committee: Membership of 39 to be increased to 51. At the same time, two additional Vice Chairman and one each for Deputy Organising Secretary and Deputy Publicity and Info Secretary to accommodate the increasing number of Branches and enable various Branches’ representatives to have the opportunity to join in the leadership work of Central Youth Section.

7. Freeze and take-over incident by Party Central

In the history of 21 years of the Youth Section, there had been records of Branches being intervened and taken over by the Party Central on three occasions.

(1) The first incident happened after the 1st Youth Section Delegates Meeting. Owing to internal problems in the Youth Section soon after the 2nd Youth Section Executive Committee took over duties, the affairs of the movement could not function normally. In order to prevent this situation from producing undesirable consequences, various Branches received a letter from the party on November 25, 1980 informing them that the Party Central had decided at its meeting on November 23, 1980 that “all activities of the Youth Section are taken over by a special committee set up by the Party Central”. Members of the special committee are as follows:

Chairman: Dr Wong Soon Kai

Secretary: Datuk Stephen KT. Yong (Party Secretary-General)

Treasurer: Chan Siaw Hee

and representatives of seven Branches from Kuching, Sarikei, Serian Bintangor, Kanowit, Sibu and Miri. Representatives from Bengoh constituency Youth Section were accepted as observers at the meeting.

The special committee held a total of four meetings. The last meeting was held on June 5, 1981 which decided to hold Youth Section Delegates Meeting to let the movement return to normalcy. The date was fixed on July19 and 20, 1981 and the venue was Sibu.

The special committee appointed members of the organising committee to undertake the relevant work.

The members are:

Chairman : Thomas Hii King Hiong

Secretary : David Tiong

Committee members : Dr Chua Ching Geh, David Teng and James Ho

The Delegates Meeting formally appointed Dr Chua Ching Geh as the 3rd Youth Section Executive Committee Chairman thus ending the take-over which had lasted for over six months.

(2) On the second occasion, the election of Kuching Branch Committee was frozen as directed by the Party Central. The cause was the contradiction between the Branch Committee and Kuching Branch Executive Committee which had hindered the smooth holding of the election of Kuching Branch Committee. In the face of several setbacks, the Youth Section election committee elected its executive committee according to their procedure but it was not accepted by the party branch executive committee. As a result, each side lodged its complaint with the Party Central. At that time, the Party Central decided to freeze Youth Section election and all its activities. This lasted till after the party and Youth Delegates Meetings. It was till 1994 when Kuching Branch executive committee appointed Kuching Branch Committee to take over the affairs of the Branch. Regarding the election process of Youth Section Kuching Branch, the then Youth Section leadership had all along kept a close watch over the development of the incident and had put forward their own proposals. When the Party Central took action to freeze the Branch election and activities, the Youth Section eventually reserved their views to respect and obey the Party Central’s decision.

(3) The results of the 1996 state elections had resulted in the split in the leadership of Bintangor Branch. This had further led to the conflict in the election of the Branch Executive Committee. As a result, the Branch’s two affiliated organisations – Women and Youth Sections were dragged into the conflict At the instruction of the Party Central, the Branch Committee, Youth Section and Women Section are frozen indefinitely.

8. To attach importance to the spirit of consultation while retaining democratic freedom of competition- The post of Youth Section Chairman– keenly contested twice.

It has been the established traditional practice of our party to deal with internal matters under the spirit of consultation. There is no exception for the Youth Section. However, in some circumstances, a democratic competition is unavoidable. There had been two occasions of keen contests during the Youth Section Central Committee elections in the history of the movement.

(1) During the 6th Youth Section Central Committee election in 1987, the then Youth Chairman’s post of Sdr Chan Seng Khai was challenged. The result of the voting by the delegates showed the re-election of Sdr Chan Seng Khai with a small majority of votes.

(2) There also surfaced a competition during the election of the 7th Youth Section Chairman in 1990. The Youth Section Delegates Meeting decided to make a decision through secret balloting. Sdr Vincent Goh won the contest and was elected the Chairman with a great majority of votes.

The above two elections have not affected the unity in the Youth Section. The losers had openly accepted the democratic verdict. This is the reflection of our party’s established spirit of “SA’ATI”. At the same time, it also shows that the political consciousness of the Youth Section is mature.

9. As the conditions of the Youth Section’s activities were different in various periods, the performance were also varied:

So various terms of Central Youth Section Committee had their own specialties when launching activities:

(1) First Term Youth Section — As the Youth Section was just set up, its main tasks were to expand the organisation, recruit more members and set up Branches. Therefore Branches had been set up in several major urban towns and areas such as Kuching, Sibu, Mm, Sarikei, Binatang and Kanowit during this period.

(2) Second Term Youth Section – As the new leadership of the Youth Section had just taken over from the outgoing leadership, there was a lack of maturity in respect of handling of internal affairs and leadership in various aspects. This had led to the emergence of many problems in the movement. As a result, the affairs of the Youth Section could not be launched. Eventually the Youth Section was taken over by the Party Central.

(3) Third Term Youth Section — After the freeze was removed by the Party Central, the Delegates Meeting of the movement was reconvened. The Youth Section leadership had during the two-year term of office made great efforts and energy to promote unity in the movement and heal the wounds in the past as well as reorganise the internal work.

(4) Fourth Term Youth Section — Began to launch activities of the movement on a larger scale such as making contacts and holding dialogues with Youth Sections of other Barisan Nasional component parties. At the same time, it was concerned with certain problem pertaining to the people’s lives and political issues and had expressed its views openly.

(5) Fifth and Sixth Term Youth Sections – During the five-year term of the Youth Sections, the affairs and activities were more widely launched. This included further expansion of Youth Section organisation such as Stampin, Bau, Sri Aman, Padawan, Batu Kawa and Batu Lintang Branches of Southern Zone.

Kapit Branch of Central Zone and Bintulu, Baram, Limbang and Lawas Branches of the Northern Zone were all set up during this period.

Besides, several sub-committees had also been set up to assist in launching the work of the movement. As regards public comments, the movement was very concerned with relevant incidents or issues and had expressed its opinions frequently.

(6) Seventh and Eighth Term Youth Sections – The longest term of office held by Youth Section leadership (six years). While putting forward “without fear or favour to play the role of a pressure group, unite for progress and cultivate new strength” as the theme of its activities, it had, apart from continuing certain moves of former Youth Sections such as demarcation of Southern Central and Northern Zones, strengthened the links among various Branches and set up sub-committees to assist in launching the affairs of the movement, it had spared no effort in carrying out much work on the training of youth leaders and members. The work included the holding of youth leaders’ mental motivation course and youth living camp etc. Besides, visits were made as a form of liaising with various Branches. A bold attempt was also made to stage a “Sa’ati” cultural show at various places to let various Branches have opportunities to take in the activity and to prefect the spirit of solidarity of the Youth Section. Through this activity, the Youth Section will achieve the objectives of liaising with various Branches and raising funds.

Regarding the issues of politics and people’s living problems, the movement had given its attention and made appropriate reactions.

(7) The present (Ninth) Term Youth Section —- It has been less than two years since it came into being. Its leadership is stronger than any of the previous ones. The membership of its Executive Committee is increased from 39 to 51. Its Chairman Sdr Lee Kim Shin and Vice Chairman Sdr Francis Harden are YB personalities. They have a better understanding of government structure and functions. This is beneficial to communication and liaison between Youth Section leaders and government departments.

In the field of leadership policy, based on the theme 21st century SUPP heading towards progress, excellence and success”, a formula of “Youth Section’s Five-Year Development Plan” is mooted. In order to strengthen the implementation of this plan by the Youth Section, 12 sub-committees were set up to implement this project.

The youth training programmers included in the five-year plan have been fully launched. They include training camp for students of universities and colleges and para military training for youths.

The movement has also attached great importance to new scientific techniques and information. It had organised multi-media super corridor seminars and exhibitions in Kuching, Sibu and Miri in 1997 which received overwhelming response.

The movement has also achieved a breakthrough in its relation with Barisan Nasional Youth. Apart from jointly organising several activities, all parties have also worked hand in hand to cope with the difficult times brought about by the regional financial turmoil. It had also together with Barisan Nasional Youth representatives attended the programmes held by the National Barisan Nasional Youth in Kuala Lumpur on June 14 this year to raise National Special Fund.

Apart from the above, it has responded to the national call. As chaired by the Youth Section Chairman, the movement had held discussions on the launching of Buy Malaysian Made Goods activity in collaboration with other Barisan Nasional Youth Section. It is hoped that through such an activity, it would further elevate the patriotic consciousness of the people of Sarawak.

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