Khalil to focus on Sarawak

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 Jan 2004

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the first priorities for Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob as Barisan Nasional secretary-general is to talk to problematic political parties in Sarawak to get them to sort out their problems. 

“I am not making any pre-conceived solutions. Let me talk to them. That will be among my first duties and I will carry the message from the Barisan chairman. 

“There is a need to tie up loose ends,” he told reporters at a breakfast meeting yesterday. 

Barisan used to have 14 component parties and with the entry of Parti Bersatu Sabah, the ruling coalition should have had 15 component parties in its fold. 

However, the infighting and internal problems plaguing two component parties in Sarawak – Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) – has caused the two parties to be deregistered by the Registrar of Societies (ROS). 

Khalil said Barisan was down to 13 component parties and the idea now was to consolidate. 

“We will do our best to try and get them to come around. My job is to listen and talk to them and make my recommendation to the chairman. We need to solve this. I’ll be talking to all sides. I am confident we can solve this before the general election,” he said. 

The ROS deregistered SNAP in November 2002 for failing to resolve its leadership crisis and for contravening its constitution. 

Shortly after that, some of its leaders set up the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party and they were accepted into the Barisan. 

However, the other SNAP faction led by its outgoing president Datuk Amar James Wong went to court and was granted a stay order against the deregistration order by the Court of Appeal. The same court also granted leave for Wong’s faction to appeal the ROS decision. 

PBDS was deregistered by ROS on Dec 5 on grounds that it had failed to give a satisfactory answer on discrepancies on the status of 29 branches and it too appealed against the decision. 

Khalil who is the Umno secretary-general took over as Barisan secretary-general yesterday from Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat. The appointment is for two years.  

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