Sarawak National Party has written to BN chairman Najib Tun Razak to enquire about its membership.
KUCHING: If Sarawak National Party (SNAP) leaders chose to return the party to the Barisan Nasional fold, then it must be prepared to face the wrath of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) who have threatened to resign enmass in protest.
A senior SNAP leader, who delined to be named, told FMT that if SNAP president Stanley Jugol went ahead with his plans, then there will be ‘war’ within the party.
“If Jugol insists in joining BN, then many of us will resign from the party… There is no point in returning to the fold of Barisan Nasional.
“Firstly, they will bully you and treat you even worse than a dog.
“Secondly, SNAP is not likely to be allocated a seat to contest in the next general election if they join BN,” he said.
The leader was commenting on reports that SNAP is studying the possibility of rejoining BN.
Jugol had reportedly said that SNAP was “mostly likely” to rejoin the BN instead of Pakatan Rakyat, which it had unsuccessfully engaged with last year.
Asked to elaborate on SNAP’s intention, Jugol admitted that he had written a letter to the chairman of the Barisan Nasional to find out the status of SNAP membership with BN.
He said that it was vital to know if SNAP’s status was still intact following the deregistration of the party in 2002 and the ensuing court cases which later rejected the decision of the Registrar of Societies to deregister the party.
Jugol reasoned that SNAP has never been expelled from BN nor did it quit the coalition.
According to Jugol, the answer from the BN chairman is important, because if the membership was still intact, then SNAP should be invited to attend BN functions and meetings.
“So far there is no reply from the BN chairman.
“But it is wrong to say that SNAP insists in rejoining, because the power of acceptance is with BN.
“Suppose BN rejects our application, then we feel ‘malu’. What we want to find out is whether we are still with BN. That is all,” he said.
And if the membership was no longer there, then the party would consider as one of its options to apply rejoining the BN.
“This is one of the options which we have discussed in our central executive committee (CEC) meeting last month,” he said.
The other options are to maintain its status quo as an independent opposition party or apply to join Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
“There is nothing definite yet. We are still studying the options,” Jugol said.
On the threats of resignation by some CEC members, Jugol said that whether the party would rejoining BN or align itself with Pakatan Rakyat, it would be discussed with the CEC members.
“All of us will decide what to do. It will be a collective decision,” he added.
New lease in life
SNAP was given a new ‘life’ by the Court of Appeal in June 2010 after it was deregistered in November 2002 following a serious leadership tussle.
The tussle then was between a group led by the president James Wong and secretary-general Justine Jinggut, and another led by deputy president Peter Tinggom and by vice-president William Mawan Ikom (now president of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party).
After SNAP was deregistered, its position and role in the BN was taken over by the SPDP.
SPDP was registered soon after SNAP was declared illegal by the ROS.
During those eight years in the political wilderness, thousands of SNAP members resigned and the majority of its branches closed shops.
With its new lease to ‘life’, SNAP has begun its rebranding and rejuvenation exercise in an effort to attract young and professional Dayaks to join the party.
But the question of whether it will eventually return to BN fold has remained on many minds.
Some believe it would be the best route for SNAP in view of the current political situation in Sarawak and across the country.
If SNAP does move back to BN, then it will likely eventually ‘succeed’ SPDP, which is unlikely to survive the 13th general election.
Dayak based SPDP and Chinese majority Sarawak United Peoples Party are currently yokes around Sarawak BN. Both are unlikely to deliver on their respective seat allocations.
Under the BN seat allocation deal, SPDP has four seats – Mas Gading, Saratok, Baram and Bintulu. Except for Bintulu all other seats are in jeopardy.
SUPP meanwhile was allocated seven parliamentary seats – Sibu, Lanang, Stampin, Miri, Serian, Sarikei and Bandar Kuching. Except for Serian and Sarikei, the rest are uphill battles.