SNAP – Get real or get lost.

By Antu Beduru

First, SNAP says it is leaving Pakatan Rakyat. Then it says it is joining UBF, another political platform. Then it says it is definitely in Pakatan Rakyat. But then its leadership goes to KL to attend the launching of KITA. Then it announces that it is still within Pakatan Rakyat. Paul Kadang says one thing. Anthony Liman says another. Then Stanley Jugol contradicts both of them. And as for the President, Edwin Dundang? He says nothing. What is going on SNAP?

SNAP is behaving like a schizophrenic child. A schizophrenic person is a person with multiple personalities – a disorder of the brain. A schizophrenic child is even worse because it is immature and therefore not capable of making the right decision while having the mind of several children all in one brain. When a political party sends out too many conflicting messages, it is showing signs of schizophrenia. Not good for a political party. As such, why is SNAP behaving this way? There are a few possible answers.

First, it could be that SNAP is purposely trying to confuse everyone and keep us all guessing, including their own members. One on hand, this is a good strategy. But I doubt very much if SNAP is that smart. On the other hand, this strategy can backfire, hurting its own members most. And surely SNAP does not want to drive away what few members it has. So we can rule out that SNAP is purposely trying to confuse us.

Second, it could simply be a case of lack of coordination amongst the spokespersons. Left hand says one thing, and right hand says another. If this is the case, then we can forgive SNAP for making contradictory statements. But it reflects badly on SNAP. An uncoordinated political party whose leadership cannot call one another to make sure that they are saying the same thing and moving in the same direction is a political party that is directionless and therefore doomed for failure. Imagine trying to coordinate an entire campaign machinery for 28 constituencies when elections come!

Third, could SNAP’s many contradicting statements be a case of an internal power struggle? Let us not forget that Paul Kadang is now on a mission to stamp and seal his influence in SNAP, and in so doing, is hogging the media limelight. Could Stanley Jugol therefore be feeling sidelined, insecure or even slightly jealousy? Anthony Liman, not to be outdone, must also be cooking up sensational statements to get some of the media attention. Power struggles happen in all political parties. But for it to be happening in a party that is telling the whole world it is re-branding itself, this scenario surely cannot be healthy.

Anyone one of these three possible scenarios could explain why SNAP is behaving in an erratic, inconsistent and inexplicable manner. Nevertheless, none of these scenarios bode well for SNAP. It only reflects the party’s inability to get its act together. And a political party that cannot get its act together so close to a state election is as good as dead.

The more damaging analysis from this schizophrenia is that SNAP is simply not sincere. How can a political party that says it is with Pakatan Rakyat openly consort with KITA (a political party openly opposed to Pakatan Rakyat) and UBF (a political platform soon to be registered as a political party also openly opposed to Pakatan Rakyat)? It is like a wife telling her husband she is faithful but openly dancing with other men in their bedrooms. Has SNAP no integrity despite proudly reminding us it is one of the oldest parties in Sarawak and a signatory to the Malaysia Agreement? (In Iban longhouses, adulterous wives are fined heavily, and SNAP should be mindful of this.) But this is just the tip of the ice-berg.

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