Friday, April 22, 2011

Kit Siang defends DAP-SNAP merger idea

Syed Jaymal Zahiid | April 22, 2011

The DAP leader says it was just a suggestion but added that he would seek feed back for the party's Sarawak leaders tomorrow.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP leader Lim Kit Siang who has come under fire over his suggestion that the Dayak-based Sarawak National Party (SNAP) merged with the DAP defended his proposal today, claiming in a statement that it was only a “suggestion”.

“My suggestion of a possible merger of DAP and SNAP to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the April 16 Sarawak state election and to avoid multi-cornered contests in the 13th general election is just that, a suggestion”.

PKR, who was forced to face 24 three-cornered fights against SNAP in the Sarawak polls, are upset by the idea.

The two were initially meant to co-operate as a united electoral force but the notion crumbled when both refused to budge and remained at loggerheads on seat allocations.

The party’s Sarawak chief Baru Bian, while being critical of SNAP’s political performance and its attitude towards Pakatan Rakyat, said such a proposal should have been discussed among the opposition partners before being publicised.

“We are therefore deeply puzzled by Lim’s purpose in suggesting a merger between the DAP and a party like SNAP,” he said yesterday, adding that he wants Lim to explain his position on the matter.

‘Feedback is good for references’

Lim acknowledged that there were negative feedbacks to his proposal but also maintained that some felt the idea was “tactically” good as seen on the comments on the statement which was posted on the DAP veteran’s blog early this morning.

The Ipoh Timur MP said the reactions, be it negative or positive, would be beneficial for “political references and guidance for political workers”.

“I welcome reactions to the idea of a merger between DAP and SNAP as one response to the new Sarawak political scenario after the recent Sarawak state election,” he said.

He however maintained that the DAP remained loyal to the Pakatan pact and that it respected the bloc’s principle of coherence.

“Baru Bian and Pakatan Rakyat leaders in PKR and PAS can be rest assured that we are on common ground in wanting to ensure that the “stable coherence” of Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak must be upheld, protected, promoted and advanced at all times and that it should not be undermined in any form,” added the DAP veteran.

Lim to pursue idea with Sarawak chapter

Lim said he will discuss the idea with the DAP’s Sarawak chapter when he visits Sibu tomorrow.

“I welcome further comments to my suggestion of a possible merger between DAP and SNAP to better prepare for the new political challenges post-April 16 before deciding whether to pursue it further in DAP and Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

The DAP won the most seats for Pakatan in the key Sarawak polls, grabbing 12 while PKR, the pact’s supposed lynchpin, only took three seats out of the 49 that it contested for. The Dayak-based SNAP won nothing.

There are 71 seats in the Sarawak legislative. Barisan Nasional maintained its two-thirds majority but observers believe the opposition was the bigger winner considering it more than doubled its seats in a sign that its influence is growing in what is considered to be the ruling coalition’s fixed deposit.

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