By Raynore Mering
KUCHING: Sarawak National Party (SNAP) deputy president Ting Ling Kiew could be booted out of the party for staging what has been described as an attempt at a ‘coup-d-tat’ last week.
An emergency central executive committee meeting (CEC) was convened by president Edwin Dundang Bugak yesterday, where it was decided that show cause letters will be issued to Ting and SNAP Batang Ai chief, Augustine Sating.
The duo will have 30 days from yesterday to reply, fai-ling which they are deemed to have been expelled. But if they reply, the CEC will meet to decide whether to expel them from the party based on their replies.
In the meantime, Ting and Augustine have been suspended from the party.
SNAP secretary general, Edmund Stanley Jugol, said in a press statement after the meeting that the comments made by Ting in the newspapers on April 1, 2009, were “very irritating, embarrassing and putting the party into ridicule and disrepute”.
“Having analyzed and debated the sequence of events that led to (acts of commission) by Ting and his group of three, particularly in accordance to the statement published in The Borneo Post on April 1, 2009 it was unanimously decided that very stern disciplinary action will be taken as provided by Article 5 of the party’s constitution, which necessitates that Ting Ling Kiew be served with a show cause letter, effective today April 6, 2009…as to why he should not be expelled from the party.
“A similar disciplinary action is also taken against Augustine Sating for going against the party’s decision by supporting the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the Batang Ai by-election,” said Stanley.
He said under the party’s constitution, Ting and Augustine would be suspended from the party until the CEC decides on their appeal if any. “The president wishes to take this opportunity to urge SNAP members to remain calm and united in supporting the CEC and the party leader-ship for having been able to defend the party from being taken by certain people unconstitutionally by staging a coup-d-tat,” he said.
On March 31, Ting flew to Putrajaya to meet the then deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, to urge him to help save SNAP and to assure him of the party’s support for BN in the Batang Ai by-election.
Ting told The Borneo Post later that evening that during the 20-minute meeting, he communicated the wishes and hopes of the CEC members to the prime minister in-waiting and assured him of their support for the BN in the Batang Ai by-election. When asked what Najib, who was sworn in as the Prime Minister on Friday, said to him, Ting replied: “Datuk Seri said for him SNAP (situation) only the technical thing because of the Registrar of Societies.
“But for the BN record at the federal level, they never sacked SNAP and SNAP also never resigned from Barisan. So because of the court case, we are just hanging like this.”
SNAP was deregistered by ROS in 2001 following a leadership crisis and since then, it has battling the deregistration order in court, leaving the party in limbo.
He was accompanied on the visit by SNAP senior vice president Kebing Wan and a former BN leader, Datuk Salleh Jaffaruddin. Ting claimed to have the support of the majority of the 16 SNAP CEC members.
So far, those who have come out in the open with Ting were Kebing, SNAP treasurer general Larry Linang, and CEC member William Sirai. Augustine is also a CEC member.
Ting had also claimed that Dundang was unaware of his meeting Najib but he was not concerned, adding “we have the majority with us”.
He pointed out that Dundang has already committed himself to Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Reacting to Ting’s actions, Dundang said on Wednesday that it was an “act of betrayal”, adding: “It is the biggest joke for SNAP on April 1st and the joker is Ting himself,”
When asked yesterday why no action was taken against the other CEC members with Ting, Stanley said it was because Ting was responsible for the statements in the media while the rest were just following him.