On suggestion of possible DAP-SNAP merger (2)

Three days ago, I had said:

“In the 13th national general elections, we should avoid any multi-cornered contests which can only benefit the Barisan Nasional and for this reason, I would even suggest that DAP and SNAP should seriously consider a merger of the two political parties to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the 416 Sarawak general elections.”

There have been different responses, both pro and con, to the suggestion that DAP and SNAP seriously consider a merger of the two parties, which are beneficial references and guides to political workers in Sarawak and Malaysia.

Veteran journalist Terence Netto described the idea of a merger between DAP and Snap as “one of the more stimulating propositions to emerge in recent times”.

There are also critics who oppose the idea painting its prospects in the most pessimistic terms.

There have also been reactions from the political players.

SNAP leaders for instance have been reported by the media as pouring cold water on the idea while the Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has asked for clarification

Firstly, the idea of a proposed merger between DAP and SNAP would not take off if the SNAP leadership are opposed to it.

Secondly, my suggestion of a possible merger of DAP and SNAP to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the 416 Sarawak general elections and to avoid multi-cornered contests in the 13th general elections is just that, a suggestion.

I have not yet taken it up with the Sarawak state leadership and the DAP central executive committee.

I welcome reactions to the idea of a merger between DAP and SNAP as one response to the new Sarawak political scenario after the 416 Sarawak state elections.

Baru Bian and Pakatan Rakyat leaders in PKR and PAS can be rest assured that we are on common ground in wanting to ensure that the “stable coherence” of PR in Sarawak must be upheld, protected, promoted and advanced at all times and that it should not be undermined in any form.

I will take the opportunity of my visit to Sibu tomorrow to discuss the idea with Sarawak DAP leaders and I welcome further comments to my suggestion of a possible merger between DAP and SNAP to better prepare for the new political challenges post-416 before deciding whether to pursue it further in DAP and Pakatan Rakyat.

  1. #1 by Taxidriver on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 6:19 am

    PKR should take LKS’s clarification in good faith. Confrontational attitude will not take the partnership to Putrajaya. The PR partnership must be one based on mutual-respect, consultation and understanding. If not, what makes them different from BN wherein only UNMOB talk and do things as they like and the others are expected to “shut up”

  2. #2 by Taxidriver on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 6:33 am

    Yes, what makes PR different from BN if one party acts like UNMOB? PKR needs to discard its ‘taiko’ ( big brother ) attitude which will brew discontentment within the coalition and lose supporters confidence in the PR leadership.

  3. #3 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 6:55 am

    Please bear in mind, BN with its current UMNO-lead mindset will never change. The proposal to merge DAP-SNAP is a good idea. The ultimate aim of PR is to create say to team within it; on one side the PKR-DAP-SNAP and PAS; as the later will have to take more time to adjust their basic tenet of basing every action on religion. It is going to be tough, but in the 21st Century, things will change.
    The main difference between PR and BN is fundamental; one party wants current wantonness to be part of its style of governance; while the other is trying hard not to fall into the same trap. On the corruption front, both DAP and PAS have done pretty well so this basic tenet must be upheld at any cost!

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 7:11 am

    Kit’s suggestion of DAP/SNAP merger is strategic/good. Upsides: (a) for DAP, it could help shed image of being solely Chinese party; allows DAP to expand its political base in Sarawak; (b) for SNAP, a meaningful platform and sincerer collaboration to fight for NCR (native rights) that provides opportunities or resurgence; (c) for Opposition Cause, the most viable collaboration since DAP is the most successful multiracial opposition party in S’wak supported by majority Chinese (pop 30+%) whilst SNAP is multiracial for all native Dayaks (pop 40+ %) including a sprinkling of Malay-Melanau though majority of Melanaus (11-12% pop) are on Taib PBB’s side. Without breaking S’wak fixed deposit status under BN, Opposition Cause in whole Malaysia cannot advance (because of inherent constitutionally sanctioned gerrymandering). A DAP-SNAP Merger (where SNAP relationship with either PKR or PAS is not possible) represents best hope. The worse alternative is SNAP joining either BN or being independent causes 3 cornered fight in GE!

  5. #5 by k1980 on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 7:29 am

    //The worse alternative is SNAP joining either BN or being independent causes 3 cornered fight in GE!//

    Even worse is that the SNAP winners, after merging with DAP, cross-over to bn because of $$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$$ (trillions). Taib has only billions

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 7:34 am

    Lets examine & weigh downside ie likely strained relationship with PKR undermining in process Pakatan’s collaboration. In first place S’wak PKR has no merits to object. Its not that SNAP had not collaborated with PKR but the latter is rejected by SNAP for being more interested in self aggrandizement than realistic advancement of either Natives’ or Opposition cause. It had been given a chance and was found wanting by SNAP. Earlier PKR Sarawak native leaders wanted Nicholas Bawin in Batang Ai by election but PKR parachuted someone else and lost Batang Ai.

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 7:37 am

    This time around in S’wak 10th state election PKR behaved like lord in manor dictating to SNAP & DAP that they contested 3 and 13 states respectively whilst PKR had ambitions to contest 53! It’s a surfeit of greed ambition (quantity) over realistic capability. [PKR has neither electoral machinery/penetration nor goodwill amongst locals: it had never won nor come close to winning a native-majority seat in 3 federal elections and 2 state elections in the 12 years of their existence in Sarawak. In Peninsula it could not even manage its own unity with a record high defection list compared to DAP/PAS, in no small part due to Anwar’s prioritization of Azmin’s ambitions & Tian Chua’s mis-advice]. Who contested less seats and performed qualitatively better? It’s the more realistic DAP. Who mismanaged relationship causing SNAP to precipitate 3 cornered fights ? Its PKR again! So where the merits of Sarawak PKR’s objections ??

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 7:53 am

    Sarawakian and Dayak control over their own affairs and destiny is first & most basic appeal to ever hope awakening majority S’wakians to oppose and bring down Melanau based PBB, which otherwise is untouchable with a solid bulwark of Melanau support (thanks to Election Commission’s delineating of electoral boundaries) of an assured 35 seats or 49.3% of the total seats in state assembly even before it goes to an electoral battle. And without unseating PBB and S’wak FD stature with BN, and have that momentum extended to Sabah, how is Opposition ever to reach Putrajaya by any GE? Which is sincerer and more competent leadership (DAP or PKR) to support and help realise S’wakian & Dayaks’ aspiration?

    PKR only has ambition and talk of reaching there but many things its decision makers have done, alienate others not within inner circle, shoot its own foot and undermine larger cause.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:05 am

    YB, SNAP after recent debacle will realise that only DAP remains its important & viable ally to advance Dayak political struggle in terms of comprative competence/sincerity of leadership and electoral machinery on Sarawak ground. It will therefore consider the offer most seriously and may bite!

    PKR should not be a dog in the manger opposing that which is furtherance of common cause but for which PKR itself can play no meaningful role because they have themselves proven wanting & lacking to SNAP leaders intellectuals and elites.

  10. #10 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:18 am

    The person(s) who defected from DAP to join SUPP, they must have regretted. Else they would have been the candidates in Sibu this time, and would have been elected. What can I say. Just a bad decision.

  11. #11 by Loh on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:39 am

    Lim Siang Chai, Vice President of MCA and deputy Minister of finance challenged Kit to stand in Malay (majority) constituency and if Kit won, he would change his name to Chai Siang Lim.

    Lim Siang Chai knows that Kit is the obstacle to UMNO mission of Ketuanan Melayu. It is quite natural that as Malays or the majority of them who have been brainwashed to Ketuanan Melayu mindset would vote against Kit.

    Lim Siang Chai from MCA is said to represent Chinese. So Lim Siang Chai should stand against Lim Kit Siang to prove that he is really more acceptable than Kit to Chinese. LSC knows that he will win in Malay area purely because he knew that Malays know that he would be UMNO puppet. In fact that is how most MCA MPs get into parliament, and they are yes-men to UMNO’s call. That is why MCA MPs dared not breathe any dissent even when they momentarily remember that they are Chinese.

    Lim is willing to change his surname to Chai over a bet. That shows how much he respects his ancestor when he was willing to place his surname on bet. A person who does not treasure his ancestry can hardly be considered Chinese. Moreover how much of Lim Siang Chai is Chinese?

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:41 am

    Dayaks have to realize that part of their problem is the feudal/warlord politics that is natural to their development-challenge society. Any political progress for their race must include a constant inclusiveness no matter how challenging and devious the other party is so long as inclusion does not mean indiscipline. Part of BN success in the past was the willingness to absorb competing interest of feuding personalities and interest.

    The suggestion for DAP-SNAP merger is very much in the spirit of inclusiveness but subject to discipline and transparency.

    It is understandable that Baru Bian opposition simply because he has only begun to establish new authority, discipline and ability to what has been fragmented race and too much legacy problems. But its simply a question of trust, not a matter of idea. IF DAP is sincere in promoting sincere Dayak interest and good leadership ultimately, the proposal should not be objectional to Baru Bian.

    The turning down by SNAP is unfortunatea and an example of baggage of old of the past rather than seizing the future and believing in the new and young.

  13. #13 by Godfather on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:44 am

    The value in SNAP is not in its leadership. It’s in its membership, and from the ashes of SNAP’s debacle in the Sarawak elections, something good will rise, hopefully a new bunch of leaders untainted by the current leadership which apparently could swing either way depending on what promises they can extract from BN and from Pakatan !

    Yes, we can criticize the current SNAP leadership for being ineffective or greedy or unwilling to cooperate, but would it serve Pakatan’s purpose (especially in the long run) if SNAP were to rejoin BN ?

  14. #14 by Godfather on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:50 am

    Forget about MCA, Lim Siang Chai, Chua Soiled Lek, etc. They know they are irrelevant, and they can only apply one tactic left – instilling the fear into the Chinese that they would not be adequately represented in the next government.

    Fortunately the Chinese realise that these hypocrites have sold us down the river, and being represented or not in the future no longer lies with MCA or Gerakan. It lies with Pakatan.

  15. #15 by hvpl on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 8:51 am

    I agree with LKS, that a brainstorming discussion must be held to merge the opposition forces against BN. Not just in Sarawak but in Sabah & Peninsula, too.

    3-cornered fights sap the strength of each opposing party and the least affected, usually BN, emerge the winner.

    What kind of politicians do we have that lash out and oppose any brainstorming ideas that are proposed without proper discussion? I am particularly disappointed with Baru Bian’s statement. I just hope it is certain parties in PKR KL leadership behind his statement.

    There are certainly good men in every party. Let us discard the chaff and retain the good seeds, so that these may grow to form a better Malaysia.

  16. #16 by Loh on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 9:02 am

    Najib is keeping his elegant silence after the Sarawak election. MCA is making noise to fill pages in the newspapers. As MCA leaders are plain stupid, they can’t even talk sense given the opportunity to do so.

  17. #17 by drngsc on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 9:02 am

    Interesting idea Kit. Something worth exploring, I think. BUT please learn from your previous experience. There must be a in-depth study, and please avoid any marriage of convenience. Getting a bunch of ” frogs” is no great help. It is a severe liability. I belief there-in lies the problem.
    Here is where much wisdom is needed.
    Think carefully. We do not wish to enrich opportunist taking you for a get rich ride. And there are many around.

    We need to change the tenant in Putrajaya, but be wise.

  18. #18 by wanderer on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 9:12 am

    …just because PKR could not accommodate SNAP for what ever their reasons, that does not mean others could not work with SNAP. Perhaps, PKR should change
    their tactics…be more persuasive and trusting….a more promising outcome may have resulted…even, not a complete agreement but, to agree to disagree.
    In SNAP there are the good, bad and the ugly, let concentrate on the good and slowly weed out the bad and ugly..this can only be done by persuasion and strategies. DAP as an experienced political party and with trusted leaders may do the job better, bringing SNAP to the PR Alliance.
    PKR has failed, let DAP give it a shot…better to have one more friend than one enemy more.

  19. #19 by k1980 on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 10:36 am

    Wonder how many seats PKR would win had it contested ALL 71 seats in Sarawak?

    3/71 works out to be just 4.2%. Taib would had laughed until he croaked

  20. #20 by monsterball on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 11:11 am

    I think DAP could easily got more than 3 seats extra..if not much more.
    I hope Anwar have some smart plans for 13th GE.. and PAS shape up…or ship off.
    Their internal bickering is welknown.
    Better sack all ultras hurting the party.

  21. #21 by sl on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 11:21 am

    Mr LKS, I have always respected and admired you and I still do.
    Your idea about DAP-SNAP merger is good. However, may I suggest as Baru Bian said, such ideas should be discussed behind closed doors among the component parties, so that any brainstorming for/against the idea done at party level will not be seen by public as disaggreement/disunity or be exploited by the “Opposition” of the Opposition.
    A certain component party of the Pakatan coalition has a predilection for saying something preposterous in public (? internal sabotage) and the rest of the Pakatan had to go into damage control mode- this is not healthy and should be avoided by Pakatan coming out as one voice publicly on any issues.
    The press is not the platform for Pakatan to do their brainstorming, knowing their (the press) talent for spinning.
    This is my prayer, that God will give the Pakatan leaders wisdom to do what is right and just.

  22. #22 by Ianizer on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 11:45 am

    Truth is DAP needs the participation of the Dayak, Iban, Melanau, etc, if it is going to make a lasting impact on the political landscape in Sarawak. Merging with SNAP makes it a little bit easier, but it is not without risks.

    The risk stems from the fact that the current leaders of SNAP are all from the mould of BN component parties. In other words, they are susceptible to bribes and will no doubt hop back to Taib when presented with riches beyond their imagination. What would the damage be to DAP if the elected representatives from the DAP-SNAP merger were to jump ship in the same manner as Ms. Souled Out Hee? How would the poor citizens of Sarawak see DAP if it couldn’t prevent the SNAP leaders from jumping?

    I’m not implying that they will jump but chances are they will and that is not something DAP can afford at the moment.

    The best way around this is for DAP to forget the top level of SNAP and engage instead the SNAP members at the grass root level. Recruit leaders from them in the manner that emperor recruits generals. Screen through them to ensure that they are loyal to DAP. Train them up and then have them persuade the other SNAP members to join. Once the wheel is in motion, DAP will have the momentum to win the hearts of all.

  23. #23 by nativeSWK on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 12:59 pm

    an excellent idea for DAP to merge with SNAP. I could smell success. PKR leadership and organization is too weak to win any election in Sarawak. Baru please consider the big picture of the Dayak rather than on the emotions. I want to give SNAP another chance especially with DAP.

    A merger will make the DAP more multiracial and, at the same time, provide the disenchanted Dayak/Iban with a united platform. The reason PKR is making noise is because it is worried that it’s plan to take the CM’s post may be threatened

    why only pkr be the PR’s backbone? pkr has failed. DAP should takeover to lead. next GE, DAP should contest 70 parliment seats in peninsular including 8 in kl, 29 state seats in png, 23-25 ss sgor, 15 ss n9, 30 ss jhr, 13 ss phg, 3 ss kdh, 1 ss kelantan, 1 ss tganu, 29 ss perak

    25 parliment seats with snap in swk, 14 ps with sapp, ubf in sbh

    35 ss with sapp,ubf in sabah

    Blessed Good Friday

  24. #24 by sotong on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 2:43 pm

    In the election, Ubah,Ubah,Ubah!!!

    A suggestion to merge DAP & SNAP….we are worried to Ubah for various reasons!

  25. #25 by loo on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 2:54 pm

    To carry on from taxidriver’s comment…..PKR leaders including Baru Bian SHOULD APOLOGISE TO LKS. Who the hell is Baru, Tian Chua or perhaps Azmin Ali to make comment? Hey, Baru, you PKR Sarawak chief saja…..Bukan PKR primus inter paras

    Yes, PKR must shed its taiko status. Better still act like equal member within PR.

    Ktemoc is lagi teruk. PKR wanna contest 52 seats so that they can double their seats. Hahaha! Some more wanna sabo DAP…..exchange Padungan with Batu Lintang…..Then Dominique chip in for the fight there…..We should ask Azmin Ali…..Why Dominique was not sacked with immediate effect? How kind words extended by Wan Azizah to Dominique? Thank god that Dominique is thrashed…..Yes, I never forget how Dominique screw up Sarawak 12th GE campaign. What’s the exact words from Tan Kok Wai at the end of negotiation? CRAZY!
    Would you believe when the next GE comes up, Azmin Ali would demand Stampin to be given to PKR? Wanna bet

    Merger can come in many form. Of course, DAP would be very careful of weeding out the undesirables. Do you know that Shanty Chong was from Bersekutu before she joined DAP? Edwin from SAPP to PKR & now DAP? Jeff Ooi & John Fenandez from Gerakan?

    Guys & Gals,
    In conclusion, PKR should just stick to consolidation. I hope that Thomas Su worked in securing these seats in Kedah/Perlis

    1) Derga
    2) Gurun
    3) Lunas
    4) Batu Arang
    5) Indera Kayangan

    Tian Chua has dropped bomb during 12th GE by chipping in gerakan, former state exco……


  26. #26 by Loh on Friday, 22 April 2011 - 5:13 pm

    ///Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said today the government had nothing to do with the ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ movement proposed in a Utusan Malaysia newspaper report. That’s the personal opinion of the…///-Malaysiakini

    Najib would have told Ibrahim Ali that the 1Melayu can be implemented but not talked about.

    ///Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that the ‘1Melayu, 1Bumi’ movement proposed by the right wing non-governmental organisation Perkasa will be very bad for the country. I hope it doesn’t happen. It’s very…///–Malaysiakini

    Mamakthir pretended to disagree to the proposal because he has been implementing the 1Melayu concept since his ‘Malay Dilemma” was written.

  27. #27 by Ray on Saturday, 23 April 2011 - 12:29 am

    Is Not a matter of just merging party ..rather But whether the Sarawak people esp ibans all natives, Indians,poor marginalised melanaus and chinese living std improves accquired from a clean comitted and fair Opposition party of equality democratic values meritocracy policy with convictions.
    Thus If so, the educated SPeople will definite continue vote for DAP SNAP regardless of how smart crafty boastful Corrupted wealthy BN politicians were…
    Look at the majority of Speople face today pictures a sad story why?Pek moh Taib only enriches his cronies PBB Supp annd Nothing else.

  28. #28 by law2020 on Saturday, 23 April 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Uncle Lim, go for the merger. At least you must pull in some good one.

    Poor performance of SNAP in the recent Sarawak election does not means that there is no good candidates in SNAP.

  29. #29 by Loh on Saturday, 23 April 2011 - 5:32 pm

    Dayaks and Ibans belong to the same people though they live in different region/area, one on land the other on water. They are non-Muslims with a few now converted to Muslims faith. Together the Dayaks formed 45 % of the population in Sarawak. Since Stephen Kalong Ningkan was deposed, Dayaks have lost their political influence. Dayaks should help stop BN occupying Putrajaya. Following the proposal of 1Melayu by Perkasa Dayaks should sink the different terms of Bidayuth and Ibans and call themselves 1Dayat.

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