THE Sarawak National Party (SNAP) has again decided that it is not with the Barisan Nasional (BN) … but it is not with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) either!
Last month, before SNAP’s Triennial General Assembly (TGA) and the presidential election that never was, secretary-general Edmund Stanley Jugol had hinted at the possibility of SNAP becoming BN-friendly.
However, outgoing President Edwin Dundang Bugak seems to have shut the door permanently on that possibility with his latest statement of SNAP going on its own path — neither with BN or PR.
Just before the State election in April, SNAP dithered on its position within the opposition coalition and then decided to stand against both BN and PR candidates.
At the time, the party said it was because PR had no respect for its wishes.
In case you have forgotten, SNAP then stood in 26 seats. It also lost all 26 rather miserably.
Election Commission (EC) statistics show that SNAP only managed 15,663 votes (2.33 per cent) from the 672,667 (68.66 per cent) registered voters who turned up to vote.
Before we dismiss this as the final say on the party’s position, we need to remember that this latest statement came from the outgoing president.
If SNAP ever gets its act together and holds the election for a new (or at least newish) crop of top leaders, the next president may have a different stand altogether.
Whatever you may think about this party, it really has been through a lot and is a truly Sarawakian party, unlike the Malaya parties of PR.
Judging from its poor performance on its own, SNAP should probably choose sides if it ever wants to regain a position of relevance in the Sarawak political scene. And we all know when it was most relevant to Sarawakians — when it was part of the BN government.
The report from The Borneo Post:
SNAP neither with PR nor BN — Dundang
SIBU: SNAP in announcing its political direction yesterday said it was on its own in its political struggle and renounced any involvement with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN).
Making clear the party’s stand to put to rest speculations about it, party president Edwin Dundang felt that soldiering on under their own steam was the best approach for now.
The party ruffled PR’s feathers when it hastily announced that it would contest 26 seats in the last state election, and was branded by some political pundits as a BN ‘Trojan horse’.
“Last year, we were invited to join PR but right up to the last state election, before the nomination day, they (PR) dropped us from their grouping.
“Since then, and through the last state election, SNAP has been on its own. We are neither PR nor BN supporter. As it is now, just to clear the air, we are still on our own, and following centralist policies which we feel is the right thing to do for the time being until the new Central Executive Committee makes a review after the coming TGA,” Dundang told The Borneo Post.
He said this when asked to state their political direction in view of the impending parliamentary election.
He expressed optimism that with the stand, SNAP would be the only party that is 100 per cent local.
“By that, I mean we are locally established and locally based for Sarawakians…”
He, however, was tight-lipped on the number of seats they were eyeing this coming election.
In the April 16 state polls, SNAP fielded 26 candidates and lost all while PKR won three of the 49 seats it contested.
According to statistics from Election Commission (EC), SNAP only garnered 15,663 votes (2.33 per cent) out of the 672,667 (68.66 per cent) registered voters who turned up to vote.
The party was deregistered by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) in 2002 but given a new lease of life when the Court of Appeal set aside ROS’ decision last year.
On another development, its vice-president Dr John Bampa echoed Land Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s call for Deepavali to be made a public holiday.
Dr Bampa believed the call was in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
He, however, felt that if Deepavali were to be made a national public holiday, it should not be at the expense of existing holidays.
“It (Deepavali) should be an additional holiday on top of those we are already enjoying. Besides this, I would like to express my sincere feelings that other holidays such as Gawai Dayak and Sabah Harvest Festival be made national public holidays,” he suggested so as to reflect the 1Malaysia concept where festivities are shared by all.