Jugol takes charge of ailing SNAP

The newly elected Sarawak Nasional Party team will focus on ‘fighting for the rights of the Sarawak people.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Sarawak National Party (SNAP), which gave the state its first chief minister in the person of Stephen Kalong Ningkan, is aiming to rebuild its tattered image under the stewardship of its new president Stanley Jugol.

That it is a herculean task has not escaped Jugol and his newly elected central executive committee members.

“I have a tough task ahead. The party has split a couple of times and members have left the party.

“But I have a very good team which is a mixture of experienced people like Daniel Tajem who can give sound advice and the former president Edwin Dundang and qualified people like lawyers to help me.

“We will have something like an ‘inner circle’ to discuss the way forward. It will be a collective decision,” Jugol said.

Following the split with Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) in November 2002, SNAP was deregistered, and for eight years it had been in the political doldrums while waiting for its appeal to the court against the decision of the Registrar of Societies.

It was only given a new lease of life on June 23, 2010.

This weekend the party’s triennial general assembly (TGA) saw only 46 delegates, a far cry from the 2,000 who attended its TGA at the peak of its glory.

“Our immediate task is to strengthen our divisions. Delegates attending the TGA have been told to regularise their divisional committees and to recruit more members.

“After the divisions have been set up, then we will visit them,” he said, adding that the party is going to restructure only 32 divisions.

“We must start afresh as we cannot rely on the old membership,” he added.

SNAP supports Borneo Agenda

On the party’s mission and vision, Jugol said that being a local-based party, SNAP will fight and defend the rights of the local people, especially the poor and the marginalised.

“For the time being, we would like SNAP to be just SNAP. Our struggle is genuinely to fight for the rights of the Sarawak people, unlike some peninsula-based parties which may not understand the aspirations and problems of the local people.

“They are not genuinely looking after our interests,” he said, referring to PKR, DAP and PAS.

Jugol said that if the party becomes a force to be reckoned with in the future, then SNAP might join forces in future either with Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Rakyat.

“We cannot be a party alone all the time, because we support a two-party system. We cannot be the third party out.

“But for now, we have to strengthen the party first,” he said.

Jugol said that SNAP subscribed to the Borneo Agenda as espoused by the Sabah chapter of State Reform Party (STAR) as there are many things in the 18-point Malaysia Agreement that have not been fulfilled.

“Those are our rights and we have to fight for them. We can be aggressive and we can also be diplomatic.

“We will pursue those rights together with our Sabah friends as both of us feel that we have been deprived of our rights due to the non-fulfilment of the agreement,” he said.

During the TGA, Jugol was elected unopposed as president of the party after Dundang, who had been president for eight years, stepped down.