My Views on Paul Kadang’s Statement.

By batsman 

It looks very much like there is no way to be sure of anything at this time. This is unfortunate since it is a critical time. The period after this state elections and maybe even after the next GE will see things in clearer perspective.

However, having said that, in spite of the fog of politics, decisions still have to be made. These are my views. 

PKR is turning out to be not exactly a transparent political party (fog of politics). If one demands that SNAP disclose its sources of funds, then PKR should likewise make similar disclosure. 

SNAP’s arguments sound persuasive especially if one is sympathetic to Sarawakian autonomy and to the plight of native Sarawakians under BN rule. But what are genuine political demands of a dispossessed people forms much of SNAP’s argument and it becomes difficult to differentiate them from what may be selfish ambitions of a few leaders. I STILL do not know if SNAP will sell out. Only time will tell. 

What is troubling is – why did the court allow SNAP’s re-registration? Knowing the justice system in Malaysia, this seems highly suspicious. 

Paul Kadang says PKR never gave any priority to garnering native support until after 2008 when there was a flood of native intellectuals joining it. This is understandable. PKR even in west Malaysia is an urban party. Without native leaders in its ranks, it seems pointless to chase after rural votes. This changed after 2008. PKR therefore does not seem to have done anything wrong in this respect. The fact that it appointed an untested native leader to head the Sarawak branch over the complaints of more established leaders is actually a plus point. If it were left to a democratic vote within Sarawak PKR, it is highly unlikely that Sarawak PKR will be headed by a native leader even now. 

In fact SNAP should be sympathetic to PKR’s problems since it claims to be a multi-racial party but with Dayak base. This is a moot question, but would it be politically expedient for SNAP to somehow get an untested Melanau Malay to head it? Unfortunately the whole of Paul Kadang’s article concentrates almost purely on Dayak demands and it’s multi-racial veneer is stripped off when one reads his statement. 

Sarawak natives may be suffering the same weaknesses as the Indians in west Malaysia. They are split into many political parties but still insist on keeping up a strident united appearance and making equally strident political demands not on par with their disunity and therefore weakness in practical political life. If SNAP has new found strength in such a short time to match its assertiveness, it only raises more suspicions. Unfortunately Paul Kadang’s statement is not convincing enough and does not allay suspicions. 

Although I remain sympathetic to the demands of the Indians as to the demands of Sarawak natives, practical considerations and the urgency of trying to unseat the BN in the coming state elections still push me towards the side of PKR in terms of allocation of seats, unless of course there is no real hope of making any inroads into BN’s grip on power. Then it is best to take it easy and concentrate on longer term objectives. Once SNAP’s longer term tendencies are known, it is much easier to make decisions.