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SNAP advised to seek judicial review

 | January 18, 2013

Sarawak Nasional Party which was officially deregistered yesterday must exhaust all avenues first before considering other options, said its adviser Daniel Tajem.

KUCHING: Sarawak National Party (SNAP), which was legally deregistered following a Federal Court decision yesterday, has been advised to apply for a judicial review against the ruling.

SNAP’s adviser Daniel Tajem, who met party leaders today at the SNAP headquarters, gave the advice even though its chances would be slim.

“SNAP has to apply for a judicial review. We know it is going to be restrictive against the decision of the five-member Federal Court.

“Nevertheless, SNAP has to exhaust its legal avenue first, before considering other options.

“We have to get the ruling first before proceeding to apply for the judicial review,” Tajem told FMT.

One of the options being considered by SNAP is to register ‘SNAP Baru’.

SNAP was deregistered on Nov 5, 2002 following its failure to resolve a leadership crisis between the then SNAP president James Wong and his deputy Peter Tinggom over the expulsion of Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing. (Both Wong and Tinggom are dead).

The case was brought to the attention of the Registrar of Societies who issued a show-cause letter to the disputing parties.

Both parties failed to give satisfactory responses to the show-cause letter.

While SNAP was deregistered, Tinggom assisted by eight other MPs and state assemblymen formed a new party called Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party.

SNAP filed a judicial review at the High Court, but it was dismissed on Sept 15, 2006. The party then appealed to the Court of Appeal which overruled the High Court decision in June 2010.

Following that decision, ROS appealed to the Federal Court.

SNAP was one of the two Dayak-based parties that had been deregistered. The other one was Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) on Oct 24, 2004, also due to a leadership crisis.

Formed on April 10, 1961 by a group of Iban leaders in Betong, SNAP played a leading role in the formation of Malaysia. Without its agreement, Malaysia would not have been formed.

In return for SNAP’s agreement, one of its leaders Stephen Kalong Ningkan was appointed Sarawak’s first Chief Minister.

But Ningkan’s tenure of office was short-lived when he crossed paths with federal leaders who refused to honour some of the 18 points agreement that formed the basis of Sarawak’s joining Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form the federation.


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