Saturday, 19 January 2013

Deregistration of SNAP a lesson to other political parties

January 19, 2013

KUCHING: The leaders of SNAP have no one else to blame but themselves for not adhering to the advice of fellow political leaders — an oversight that led to the deregistration of their party.

PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said it was sad to see the end of the party, which was among Sarawak’s oldest.

“I did advise some of them (the leaders), based on my experience, on what to do after being given a second chance. My advice fell on deaf ears,” Masing told The Star yesterday.

He said as Malaysia is a country governed by laws, any individual or organisation including political parties that broke them should face the consequences.

“That’s exactly what happened to SNAP,” said Masing.

SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan said it was regrettable that the party had to come to such an end.

Putting personal feelings aside, Mawan, who was SNAP’s vice-president, said the party’s demise must be taken as a lesson by leaders and members of political parties so as not to mix personal and party agenda because a party should focus on serving the people.

“During its heyday, SNAP was one of the biggest and strongest parties in Sarawak. But although it has been shut down, its leaders can still play their roles by contributing to and serving the people alongside other (Barisan) component parties,” he said.

PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the deregistration of SNAP would serve as a harsh reminder for other long existing political parties in the state to look after themselves unselfishly and put the interest of their parties and the state above personal ones.

“I am very sad to see the demise of SNAP, a party that had a long history. It was among the earliest parties formed in the state and had played an important role in the formation of Malaysia and also the development of Sarawak in general.

“Although I was not a member of the party, I also feel sad because a part of our history has been erased with its deregistration,” he said.

Karim said the party produced the first chief minister of Sarawak and its earlier leaders were very committed to ensuring that the rights of the state were protected.

“The party produced many good leaders who could not be surpassed such as the late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan and Datuk Amar James Wong,” he said.

Meanwhile state PKR vice-chairman See Chee How, said he hoped SNAP leaders and members would be steadfast with the struggle for Sarawakians as individuals or groups.

“A political party is essentially a vehicle. It is the driver (leaders) and passengers (members and supporters) who matter most.

“SNAP was around for more than 50 years. As a party, it accumulated tremendous goodwill over the years, but it had its baggages too.

“Many of its members, including a lot of good grassroots members and leaders, will be at a loss, especially those who had been with the party for a long time. I empathise with them,” he said.

SNAP was officially de-registered on Wednesday after the Federal Court upheld the High Court’s decision to de-register it some 11 years ago.

The ruling sealed the fate of the 51-year-old party which was de-registered on Nov 5, 2002 following its failure to resolve a leadership crisis.

The last president, Edmund Stanley Jugol, said he would organise a meeting with other leaders of the party to discuss their next course of action.

“As of now we have not come up with anything yet,” he said.

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