SNAP’s Sarawak for Sarawakians

The Broken Shield

KUCHING: Sarawak National Party has been asked to revive its battle cry – Sarawak for Sarawakians – as part of its rebranding programme, said a former leader of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak, Wilfred Gomez at the party’s third symposium on Saturday.

“This was the battle cry of the party in early 70s when SNAP was down,” he said.

“There is nothing wrong with the revival of the battle cry, because there are political parties which battle cry is more extreme in terms of religious and racial extremism for their parties,” said Gomez who was a former PBDS Secretary General.

The battle cry was adopted after Stephen Kalong Ningkan was removed as Chief Minister in 1966 and SNAP was pushed out of the state alliance. That was the start of the erosion of the State rights.

Using this battle cry in the 1974 state and parliamentary elections, SNAP won 18 state and nine parliamentary seats making it one of the strongest opposition parties then.

“What is wrong when we just want to protect and return our rights as enshrined in the 18 points agreement for Sarawak’s entry in the formation of the federation of Malaysia.

“However, if it is considered too controversial, I would propose that ‘Together we thrive for Sarawak.’

“I believe SNAP must be brave if it wants to attract the people to support its rebranding exercise,” he said, quoting Ronald Reagan, the late US President, who said that the “future belongs to the brave.”

In pursuing this objective, Gomez said it should be inclusive of the discontented, the partyless and all those who feel there is a need for change.

“However, do not feel complacent. People need to feel that they belong and identify with the struggle. Only then, will they participate in SNAP’s struggle,” he said, pointing out that they should not put the blame on the ‘black sheep’ and those who caused the failure of the unity of the community.