KUCHING: The Sarawak National Party (SNAP) is hoping for a “homecoming” of former members after Datuk Daniel Tajem, who had headed the now defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), attended a SNAP dinner here on Saturday.
SNAP president Edwin Dundang described Tajem’s presence as “the beginning of good things to come” and his party would be wooing all former members of the deregistered PBDS.
“It is only logical to bring them back into SNAP where they were once members,” he said.
“PBDS was an offshoot of SNAP and we had so much in common,” Dundang said at the party’s annual national council meeting at a hotel here yesterday.
PBDS was formed by a breakaway Dayak group led by Datuk Amar Leo Moggie after he lost to Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min in a bitter contest for the SNAP presidency in 1981.
After Moggie stepped down as PBDS chief in 2002, a feud ensued between Tajem and former party information chief Datuk Dr James Masing, leading to the deregistration order by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
While Masing and his supporters have since joined the new Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Tajem and his followers have yet to join any political organisation.
Dundang said there were speculations that former PBDS members would join SNAP en masse and he hoped that their “homecoming” would take place.
SNAP – which produced Sarawak’s first chief minister, the late Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan – was sacked as a partner in the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition and its place has been taken over by the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party.
SNAP is appealing to quash an ROS decision in revoking its registration about three years ago.
Dundang said no date had been set by the High Court to hear the case as the party and the ROS would exchange documents on March 21.
The deregistration followed SNAP's failure to resolve a leadership crisis.