Sarawak Nasional Party won't pull back from its decision to contest in Mas Gading parliamentary constituency.
KUCHING: With what is believed to be a fast approaching general election, Sarawak National Party (SNAP), which many have written off, has thrown in its challenge in an “already” crowded Mas Gading parliamentary constituency.
In the 12th general election in 2008, incumbent Tiki Lafe was in a four-cornered fight. Tiki contested under the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) banner.
He garnered 8,551 votes, to defeat Dr Patau Rubis (SNAP) with 4,250 votes and independents Favian Tisen (1,476) and Apin Baeng (306).
Mas Gading is a Bidayuh-majority constituency with 21,968 voters (as of the 2008 election).
It comprises two state seats Opar (held by Sarawak United People’s Party) and Tasik Biru (SPDP).
But the ongoing strife within SPDP and SUPP has left Mas Gading wide open for battle.
Incumbent Lafe was sacked from SPDP, along with four other state assemblymen, for insubordination. All five have since teamed up to form a BN club.
Lafe, it is learnt, wants to defend his seat. How he will do this is left to be seen.
The latest to join the war is SNAP, which claims it has “ground support”.
SNAP secretary-general Frankie Nyomboi is said to be the candidate in Mas Gading.
Said Nyomboi: “SNAP has a better chance in Mas Gading because of our long established support in the constituency. We are confident.”
Not with Pakatan
He also dismissed speculations that SNAP will throw its support behind Pakatan Rakyat.
“We are not aligning ourselves to Pakatan and any other grouping for the coming election.
“But we are fully supportive of the Borneo Agenda, ” he said, referring to Sabah-based Jeffrey Kitingan’s political cause.
Jeffrey now leads an autonomous Sabah Chapter of Sarawak’s State Reform Party (STAR), which has also thrown its hat into Mas Gading.
It was recently reported that STAR vice-president Patrick Uren had hinted his interest in Mas Gading.
On the coming polls, Nyumboi said that the party is aiming to contest in four parliamentary constituencies including Mas Gading. The others are Saratok, Betong and Baram.
SNAP president Stanley Jugol is said to be eyeing Saratok seat and the former president Edwin Dundang in Baram. Party vice-president Dayrell Enteri is tipped to contest the Betong seat.