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Kuching, Malaysia, Sarawak, Sarawak National Party (SNAP), Sarawak Politics

Oh SNAP! The presidential election that never was …

THE calling off of SNAP’s presidential election was rather an anti-climax for me.

The election was supposed to have been held during today’s Triennial General Assembly (TGA). Elections for the other central executive committee (CEC) posts have also been called off.

As with many things involving this party over the years, things like this shouldn’t really be surprising anymore.

Usually when you run for a post in a political party, there are rules stating you should not be a member of another political party.

I mean imagine if you want to contest for the top post in Party A, but you are a member of Party B. Wouldn’t that be a tad inappropriate?

How could Party A’s members trust you to put the party’s best interests at heart?

And it would be rather unfair for Party B too, wouldn’t it?

Where do your loyalties lie and really why on earth are you trying to lead Party A anyway?

Even if you were to suddenly leave Party B to stand in Party A’s elections, what does that say about your character? What does that actually say about your objectives and what you will do to Party A should you prevail?

See what happened was presidential hopeful Michael Lias was disqualified.

SNAP’s CEC apparently received a letter from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) saying that Lias is one of its members – which makes you wonder what kind of members that party is recruiting, but that’s another story.

Apparently Lias has been a PPP member since September 2009.

Strangely he is also a member of SNAP’s CEC! What a tangled web we weave!

Of course Lias is alleging sabotage by challenger Edmund Stanley Jugol – SNAP’s secretary-general. He also says that he has resigned from the PPP.

Lias was issued a show cause letter and given a month to explain the allegation against him.

The NST reports that the election would likely be held after that.

In the next few days more accusations are likely to appear in the media. After that it will be a matter of waiting to see the next twist in the chapter unfold for the State’s oldest political party.

The story from the NST:

SNAP’s presidential election called off

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING: Sarawak National Party’s (SNAP) presidential election, slated for today at its triennial general assembly, has been called off.

This comes after one of the candidates, businessman Michael Lias, was alleged to be a member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

The decision was made at an emergency central executive committee (CEC) meeting yesterday.

The CEC said it had received a letter from PPP claiming that Lias had been a party member since Sept 14, 2009.

Lias, a member of the decision-making CEC, denied the allegation and claimed it was a sabotage to his challenge for the post also eyed by secretary-general Stanley Jugol.

No date had been set for the election but a senior party leader, who did not want to be named, said it could be in a month.

Lias had been given a month to explain the allegation.

Speaking to the New Sunday Times, the CEC member said Lias, in his defence, had admitted he had once been a member of PPP but was no longer. To back his claims, Lias produced an expired PPP membership card.

The CEC member alleged Lias claimed he had resigned from PPP, but only three days ago.

The CEC nonetheless slapped Lias with a show cause letter and called off the election, including elections to the various CEC posts.

“The postponement was necessary,” said the member.

The report from Bernama:

SNAP Assembly Called Off Over Technicality

KUCHING, Sept 25 (Bernama) — The triennial general assembly (TGA) of the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) scheduled for today has been postponed indefinitely after it was found that a candidate for the presidency is allegedly a member of another political party.

SNAP president Edwin Dundang said a fresh TGA would be called within 60 days from yesterday when the party’s central executive committee (CEC) unanimously decided to cancel today’s TGA over the technicality.

He said the CEC considered a letter from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) stating that Michael Lias, one of the candidates for the post of president in the elections scheduled at the TGA, was a member of the PPP.

“We did not know that Michael is a member of the PPP until we received a letter from the party dated Sept 21 stating that he has been a member of the party since Sept 14, 2009,” he told reporters.

Dundang said Lias had been asked to show cause to the CEC within 30 days whether he qualified to remain in SNAP.

He said SNAP did not want any irregularity in the elections at the TGA to result in the party’s deregistration by the Registrar of Societies, as had happened before.

The matter could be manipulated by political adversaries to tarnish the party’s image, he added.

“I do not wish to accuse anyone in this matter. Nevertheless, I feel that some quarters are bent on wanting to destroy SNAP,” he said.

Meanwhile, SNAP advisor Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem said the decision to postpone the TGA was the best move to ensure that SNAP remained an active political party.

He also said that the general meetings of the women’s and youth wings held earlier were valid.

— BERNAMA

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