Sarawak Report has received explosive evidence from the heart of Barisan National in KL, revealing that a secret deal has been forged with SNAP, in a desperate attempt to destroy the opposition and maintain BN’s grip on Sarawak after the election.
We have learnt that the deal, which involves Federal BN pouring money into the newly revived SNAP (Sarawak National Party, which is meant to be part of the opposition alliance), was finalised during the visit by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Deputy Muhyiddin Yassin just last weekend. The main broker was the UMNO information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who joined the federal delegation to Kuching and met with key players from SNAP.
Our source, who described the plan as “highly confidential”, is close to UMNO’s top decision-makers. He confirmed that the ‘game plan’ of the worried PM and Deputy PM has been to build up SNAP in order to split the opposition and ensure a three-way contest in every seat. He also makes clear that Federal BN are ready to ditch Taib, having seen poll results that point to him being a sure loser in the coming election. In one SMS text our source, who has also met and spoken with a Sarawak Report writer, says:
” Confidentially, UMNO will support SNAP and many BN Sarawak representatives will jump ship. Better to keep low key as nobody knows the game of the PM and Deputy PM”. (see above)
Details of the plot
Sarawak Report has decided instead to publish the information, so that the public can be aware of this plan to dupe voters. During lengthy discussions our informant explained that the BN strategy is based, as ever, on attempting to purchase a solution to its political problems by buying over SNAP and cheating the electorate into thinking it is voting for the opposition!
While still posing as an anti-Taib/anti-BN party, SNAP’s initial job has been to disrupt the opposition by demanding all the winnable seats. In the wake of this disruption it is then planned to emerge as a separate opposition force on the eve of the election to confuse voters.
The plotters hope that the division of the opposition will help the BN candidates win through, but they are also confident that with the injection of massive financial support from West Malaysia they can make SNAP the strongest opposition force so that it will win all the rural seats where Barisan support has collapsed. Sarawak Report was told that the plotters plan to exploit what they see as SNAP’s trump card, which is its claim to be a local Sarawak party, unlike other parties which also have branches in West Malaysia. “We are confident SNAP will win” our source explained, “because they can go to the longhouses – target the longhouses”. However, devastatingly he went on to say that after the election SNAP would switch sides:
“SNAP and PKR have a problem. SNAP want all the rural seats, then SNAP will go to BN – it’s a game la!”
Questioned over how a party which is supposed to be proudly Sarawakian could show such duplicity, our insider explained that it is no longer the same party that it had been years ago. Taib had broken it long ago by dividing it and paying bribes. “It is not the same party, you know, it is a different party”. Later he told us “They are the oldest party, but Taib played politics to divide and rule the party.. he paid money to buy people off”. However, demonstrating the viewpoint of a West Malaysian BN supporter, he concluded that the plan was a good way to get rid of Taib while keeping control of Sarawak. Adapting a quote that has often been used to describe the present Chief Minister he announced:
“SNAP is now the safe deposit for the UMNO/BN government. The Federal Government wants to use SNAP as an entry into Sarawak”
Part of a wider picture
This information, which was offered as part of a wider interview conducted with Sarawak Report last weekend, corroborates a number of broader signals indicating that SNAP is no longer a genuine partner in the PR coalition.
The party, which was only just revived as a political force last year after a suspension in 2002 by the Register of Societies, has acted as an increasingly disruptive force in the coalition, demanding far greater status than its limited membership and party reach should allow. It has gone from requesting that 3 seats be allocated to its candidates last year, to 10 then 28 and now 40 seats, which would squeeze the main rural opposition party, Baru Bian’s PKR, into a tiny minority of opposition seats.
With only a handful of members and potential candidates at its disposal at the start of this year SNAP has meanwhile been desperately offering jobs and positions to anyone who would care to join and help build up the party as a credible political force. The incentive they have been offering is a mystery source of money, which they have been claiming is at their disposal.
We have learnt that nearly all PKR’s own candidates, including leader Baru Bian, have been approached by SNAP to join their party over the past months, with offers of immediate payment of as much as RM500,000, although none have so far accepted.
An announcement last weekend that Granda Aing, who was recently disappointed over a failed leadership bid for PKR, had joined SNAP has also subsequently been denied. Baru Bian was even asked to withdraw to give way to a BN candidate in Ba Kelalan.
To make up for the shortage of experienced candidates SNAP has recently moved on to canvassing non-political figures in order to publish an initial list of 16 proposed candidates yesterday – even a member of our team on Sarawak Report was approached (he turned the offer down).
Admission by Stanley Jugol that SNAP is with BN
Sarawak Report has also been passed separate evidence that the Secretary General of SNAP privately acknowledged the deal between SNAP and BN to a local newspaper journalist last week.
A source has told us that the newsman had asked Stanley why SNAP seemed hell-bent on attacking PKR but not the BN which was presumably its real “enemy”. Stanley replied that it was because SNAP ‘needed BN to deliver development to the rural native communities and that to attack the BN would only undermine delivery of development to these areas!’
This BN-style talk surprised the journalist, who then asked if SNAP was planning to cross to BN if they won any seats in the election. To which Stanley Jugol then replied “yes”. According to our source, the senior pressman concluded that the Federal Government was funding SNAP to destroy PKR.
Meanwhile, Edwin Dundang, the President of SNAP has 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 PR’s political enimies from BN and that this is an attempt to buy off electoral defeat by building up SNAP as a fake opposition party.!
Today Sarawak Report readers sent in further evidence that Edwin Dundang has in fact been indicating his support for BN now for several months. As long ago as August last year he went public in the Borneo Post with an article praising Taib Mahmud – a staggering move for a politician who claimed to lead an opposition party. In the article he went so far as to say that that he felt that Taib should remain CM, because after 30 years in power he still had things to do! This is a contention that we now know not even Taib’s colleagues in Federal BN agree with. But the possibility is that Dundang had made the gesture to show he was biddable – and it seems that gesture was taken up!
A top secret plot that is against Taib as well
Sarawak Report’s BN source made clear in the interview that this federal plan is also directed against Taib Mahmud, who the government regard as having ‘too much baggage’ to continue as Chief Minister. They are angered that BN will lose seats because the deeply unpopular CM is refusing to step aside before the election and they plan not only to retrieve these seats by using SNAP, but they are also planning for current members of the BN coalition to also jump ship after the election.
“If Taib tries to play around then these guys in the Federal Government know what to do”
our Federal BN source explained. The plan would be to form a new BN coalition around another leader who would once again represent West Malaysian interests, just as Taib has done in the past. Among the individuals named as preparing to “jump ship” is William Mawan, who is hoping to be made the Dayak leader, However, in fact the intention is to continue business as usual with Abang Johari planned as the next Chief Minister under BN.
Our source emphasised again that these manoeverings by Federal BN are regarded as a top secret plan to snatch victory in the election:
“I am supposed to keep quiet, because the bottom line is we [Federal UMNO/BN] want to take Sarawak” he confided.
Leo Moggie is behind the plot
Our informant also detailed the management of the plot, explaining that the man behind it is the powerful and influential Leo Moggie, an Iban based in KL.
“He is very influential and he is the one reaching out to SNAP. Najib is very close to him. They think they can bring SNAP to UMNO/BN”
Moggie’s key role is his contact with revered Iban leaders such as Daniel Tajem. Tajem used to be part of PKR and continues to endorse Baru Bian as a moral and good leader for Sarawak’s Dayaks. However, our source says that Moggie is now “working it out” with Tajem and exploiting his concerns that PKR “cannot manage their own leaders in Malaysia and that the party is going down”. The informant summed up his information saying:
“SNAP will leave PR and go to BN after the election.. they will do a deal with the other parties to make sure BN stays in power”
A party with a sad history
Our researches have shown that this sad betrayal in return for money is part of a pattern of behaviour by SNAP politicians over recent years. The party is said to have had its soul ripped out by ruthless politicking and corruption master-minded by Taib in Sarawak. Recent stories include defections to BN straight after winning seats as the opposition candidate and failing to campaign against BN when nominated to be the opposition candidate. The individuals concerned have been observed to display an unaccountable new wealth in the aftermath of such incidents.
Just yesterday SNAP unilaterally announced 16 candidates for opposition seats, even though it has not reached any agreement with the other three Pakatan Rayat parties about the allocation of those seats.
The candidates have all been handed RM 10,000 as a deposit and told that they will be receiving far more money during the election campaign (although it is surely a little too late to spend it in an honest way). Political observers have noted that all these candidates are nonentities in terms of genuine political backgrounds and have concluded they are little more than a vehicle for SNAP to assert its position.
Given the comprehensive information that we have received about this plot and all the corroborative evidence that has become available, Sarawak Report would like some answers from SNAP as to whether they can confirm that they are in fact part of the BN coalition plans for after the election. If not, how can they defend their actions in disrupting PR’s on-going negotiations over seats, first by separately announcing 16 of their own candidates and secondly by going on to say that they will soon nominate 40 of their own candidates for the 71 seats, thereby ensuring a three cornered fight in every rural constituency?
Sarawak Report suggests that it is time SNAP showed its true colours. We also say it is high time to stop cheating the voters of Sarawak and playing money politics in what are supposed to be free and fair democratic elections.