Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blowing the whistle on Snap: Better for Pakatan to make a clean break

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

So it’s not PKR’s arrogance but rather BN’s lucre that has made Snap pull out from the Pakatan Rakyat in Sarawak.

That’s buzz on the grapevine after Sarawak Report revealed how Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan had quietly brokered a deal with Snap president Edwin Dundang over the weekend.

Although PKR leaders have refused to confirm or deny the report, it certainly makes sense to seasoned observers. They have been wondering how a minnow party could demand to be given the right to contest 40 out of the 71 legislative seats up for grabs.

“I cannot answer yet because we have another meeting on Thursday,” PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian told Malaysia Chronicle late on Wednesday night.

“We need to maintain goodwill. We cannot prejudice our co-operation for the time being. PKR will try until the final minute. You see, the burden is on PKR because we have to take on the Snap seats, not DAP or PAS. So we have to make the extra effort,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

New found wealth

Despite the fuzzy answers from the PKR leaders, few Sarawak watchers believe anything will come out of the Thursday meeting.

PKR supporters are already bracing for Snap to walk out, in keeping with its alleged agreement with the BN to make PKR and Pakatan look inept.

Many have urged PKR not to give in and warned against trusting Snap as chances were high it would defect sooner or later.

“Pakatan must accept their fate. They have to toil and struggle for their success. It won’t come easily but good things are worth waiting for. Pakatan must always stand on the moral high ground whereas Snap is obviously insincere. Their demands are just too outrageous,” PKR veteran Eddie Wong told Malaysia Chronicle.

According to Sarawak Report, Edwin Dundang raised eyebrows with a recent display of new wealth. The former Shell worker, now retired, has just acquired a luxury Toyota Helix and he has been promising prospective candidates that they will have a budget of RM300,000 to fight each constituency.

“Speculation has raged for months as to what the source of this money could be. Till now it was assumed that a mystery businessman was involved, but it now seems certain that the source of the cash is in fact PKR’s enemies in BN and that this was an attempt to buy off electoral defeat by building up Snap as a fake opposition party!” said the report.

Of the 71 seats, DAP is targeting 15 to 18, PAS about 3 to 6, PKR at least 42 and the balance was to go to Snap. But it recently raised its demand to 40 seats. It had sought only 3 seats when it joined Pakatan last year.

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