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Thursday, September 15, 2011

SNAP’s presidential race mired in money politics?

Posted on September 15, 2011, Thursday

KUCHING: Money politics has crept into the tussle for the president’s post of Sarawak National Party (SNAP) during its coming triennial general assembly (TGA) this Sept 24 and 25.

A concerned senior party member said a certain candidate for the president’s post is offering as much as RM3,400 for each delegate to cover air tickets, hotel room, pocket money and dinner.

“It saddens me when I heard and learned that money politics is now practised in the party by a certain individual who aspires to become the party president.”

“So it is my fervent hope that such thing (money politics) will stop for the sake of the party because the TGA is not about money, but the leadership quality, commitment and responsibility to serve and deliver.”

“The party is not and must not be sold,” he told yesterday.

He advised party members not to be influenced by money politics, but to choose candidates who have the calibre and leadership quality to lead the party.

SNAP secretary-general Edmund Stanley Jugol when contacted said he has been told by a few delegates that they were promised money by “someone”.

He denied being involved with money politics in the party, adding: “I do not have money.”

Jugol warned of severe consequences for those who resort to bribing delegates to vote for them at the TGA.

“We are watching the situation closely and those involved will be suspended or sacked. There is also a possibility that we will refer them to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC),” Jugol warned.

Jugol said money politics have happened in Umno where the guilty members were sacked, and SNAP will sack members found guilty of doing that.

Meanwhile, SNAP president Edwin Dundang is sticking to his decision not to seek re-election in the coming TGA.

In a telephone interview, Dundang said the decision was to pave way for younger party members to lead the party.

“Many senior party members have accepted (my decision not to contest) and that I give way to younger ones,” said Dundang who has indicated several times that he will not seek re-election to helm the party.

According to Dundang, so far two candidates – secretary-general Edmund Stanley Jugol and Michael Lias – are contesting for the president’s post. Nomination for the president post closed on Sept 17.

SNAP, the oldest state political party was formed on April 10, 1961 and deregistered by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in 2002.

However, it won the appeal last year when the Court of Appeal set aside the RoS decision.

In the last April 16 state election, the Election Commission (EC) reported that from the total 672,667 (68.66 per cent) registered voters who turned up, SNAP only received 15, 663 votes (2.33 per cent).

In the election, the party contested in 26 seats and lost all.

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