Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sarawak National Party (SNAP) Gets The Kiss Of Life In Time For The State Election

PUTRAJAYA: The Sarawak National Party (SNAP) is in limbo no more as the Court of Appeal has set aside its deregistration by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) eight years ago.

The court also ordered the ROS to pay RM10,000 costs.

A Bernama report said Justices Datuk Zainun Ali, Datuk Ramly Ali and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim yesterday unanimously allowed the appeal by SNAP’s then deputy president Datuk Justine Jinggut against a High Court dismissal of his bid to quash the ROS decision.

SNAP was deregistered on Nov 5, 2002, following the party’s failure to resolve its protracted leadership crisis since April that year. The authority was also dissatisfied with the office-bearers because of the internal dispute.

Justine then filed a judicial review of the ruling but it was dismissed by the High Court on Sept 15, 2006.

He, however, obtained a stay of execution pending disposal of his appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The party leadership was split between its former president Datuk Amar James Wong and the late Datuk Seri Peter Tinggom, the party’s former deputy president who subsequently formed a new political party called Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

Current president Edwin Dundang, yesterday said he was informed of the Court of Appeal’s decision by Justine immediately after the hearing and it was an “unexpected surprise” for him.

“We had not expected the party to be reinstated as we lost our case in the High Court previously. Our prayers have finally been answered. We are very happy with the reinstatement.

“For the last eight years, SNAP has been in the wilderness following its deregistration. We lost leaders like Datuk Amar James Wong Kin Min and Datuk Seri William Mawan. How­ever, we don’t blame anybody. This is politics. For the last eight years, we hit rock bottom, but now we can rise again and will not look back,” he said.

He also dismissed the possibility of rejoining the ruling coalition.

“As we have been kicked out by the Barisan, we will continue to be in Pakatan Rakyat. We have fought against the Barisan since 2003. We contested against them in the 2004 parliamentary elections and the 2006 state election as well as in the Lubok Antu and Sibu by-elections.

“Thus, there is no question of us going back to the Barisan but to continue the struggle on our own,” he said, adding that he was confident its 123,000 members would be excited with their party’s return.

Set up on April 10, 1961, SNAP is one of the oldest parties in Sarawak and its founder Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan was Sarawak’s first Chief Minister.

Source: Bernama


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