Barisan Nasional partners, PRS and SPDP, are competing to win over disgruntled Sarawak Nasional Party (SNAP) members.
This call came from the party’s former central executive committee (CEC) member Sylvester Enteri.
Urging disappointed members, Enteri, a former Marudi SNAP branch chief, said: “It is no longer SNAP of the old days; it is SNAP that has been rejected by the people.
“You can decide for yourselves to which political parties you want to join in this democratic country.”
Enteri is hoping to convince unhappy SNAP members to join his Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), a Barisan Nasional ally. SPDP won six of the eight seats it contested in the recent state election.
Enteri, who is now SPDP vice-president and Assistant Minister of Public Utilities, had contested in Marudi against SNAP president Edwin Dundang. Enteri polled 4,578 votes in this once SNAP stronghold, as against 281 votes obtained by Dundang who lost his deposit.
Yesterday Enteri asked SNAP to close shop following its disastrous outing in the April election. SNAP lost its deposit in 26 of the 27 seats contested.
Enteri said it was now clear that Sarawakians had rejected the party and its candidates.
He said SNAP leaders had hung on to their past glory and had been harping on the fact that the party was the oldest in the state and that it had once reigned supreme.
“But SNAP’s past did not go down well with the present generation of voters….the party is no longer relevant,” he said.
Last week another BN partner, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) called on SNAP members to join PRS in order to strengthen the voice of the Dayak community.
The once proud party’s fortunes began to sharply decline in early 2000 after a bitter quarrel between its then MP for Bintulu Tiong King Sing and the party leadership over a failed TV3 project which was supposed to have been built in Bintulu.
The quarrel led to the expulsion of Tiong and nine CEC members party. Enteri was one of them because he disagreed with the expulsion.
Enteri, together with the other expelled members, then went on to form SPDP in November 2002.
William Mawan was made the president of the party, with Enteri as secretary-general and Tiong as the treasurer-general. The party was immediately accepted into the BN fold at state and federal levels.