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SNAP sticks with Pakatan if it contests in Dayak-majority seats

SNAP is willing to be part of an opposition electoral pact if it is allowed to contest in 27 Dayak-majority seats in the state election.

Its director of operations Paul Kadang said since SNAP was traditionally a Dayak-based party, it expected to contest in the Dayak constituencies.

Similarly, based on demographic factors, he said it was clear that DAP would contest in Chinese-majority areas, PAS in a few Malay-majority areas and PKR in Malay-Melanau areas where it had concentrated its efforts in the past decade.

“To date, SNAP has announced its decision to run in 27 of the 29 Dayak-majority seats. It has refrained from contesting in the remaining two seats in deference to the good work done by and its support for two PKR Dayak leaders,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The two seats are Ba’Kelalan and Batang Ai, where state PKR chairman Baru Bian and election director Nicholas Bawin are expected to contest.

However, Kadang said should there be a free-for-all, SNAP had the capacity and candidates to contest up to 40 seats in the election.

“That is an option that we will take only if there are no more rules of engagement among the opposition parties,” he said.

His statement was issued to clarify misconceptions about SNAP which had emerged recently, including whether it was pulling out of the state Pakatan Rakyat due to clashes with PKR over seats allocation, as both parties were eyeing the Dayak-majority seats.

Defending SNAP’s intention to contest in the 27 seats, Kadang said PKR had never won a Dayak-majority seat in three parliamentary and two state elections in the last 12 years.

He also refuted allegations which had surfaced on the Internet that SNAP was conspiring with Barisan Nasional in order to get political funding – calling the accusations insulting to SNAP and “furthest from the truth”.

He said SNAP had received monetary contributions from well-to-do Dayaks abroad in the last few months.

“SNAP needs money badly but also realises that an efficient and honest campaign should not be too dependent on huge campaign budgets,” he said.

On allegations that SNAP’s candidates would be bought over if elected, Kadang said the party dealt with this issue on a “best-effort” basis.

Pointing out that there was no fail-proof formula to prevent party hopping, he challenged those who doubted the integrity of SNAP’s candidates to attest their confidence that candidates from PKR and other opposition parties would not jump ship once elected.

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