By Stephen Tiong
Controversial businessman Datuk John Soh Chee Wen has reportedly withdrawn financial support for the Sarawak National Party (Snap).
This was revealed by pressure group Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) leader Francis Siah, who claimed that Soh gave him the green light to make the announcement.
However, this could not be independently verified by Malaysiakini. Telephone calls and text messages to Soh went unanswered.
He said Soh contacted him last night. after reading an article on the Sarawak Report website, that Snap was consorting with BN.
“Soh wants to clear his name, say that he is no longer involved. He asked me to do this, so I am doing it now,” Siah (right) told reporters.
He claimed that Soh had initially agreed to help Snap financially because his intention was to mobilise maginalised groups throughout Malaysia into a political force.
“He has given more than RM300,000 to Snap. The first RM50,000 was received by one of the leaders, and after that more money was given out,” Siah said.
Down payment for cars
He said some Snap leaders also asked Soh for the downpayment for six vehicles.
“But Soh only gave three of them RM20,000 each as downpayment for the vehicles and rejected funding for the other three vehicles,” he said.
Soh (right) is a wealthy businessman and former associate of then MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik.
After his fallout with MCA, Soh became close with PKR’s top brass and allegedly backed the then PKR supreme council member, Zaid Ibrahim.
Now that Soh and his political associates are no longer with PKR, there has been heavy speculation that he is betting on Snap, which is on a collision course with Sarawak PKR over seat allocations in the coming state election.
On March 6, Snap president Edwin Dundang told a press conference that he “has never heard” of Soh.
MoCS to field candidates
On the coming Sarawak election, Siah said MoCS was contemplating fielding candidates in Bukit Saban, Krian, Machan and Marudi, with the intention of spoiling Snap’s chances there.
Certain Snap leaders, he claimed, had deviated from their original intention, which is to unite the Dayak community under a single organisation.
“It is for this reason that MoCS has to fight Snap in this election. Since MoCS has been partly responsible in the so-called rebranding and rejuvenating of Snap, we have to get at it in the election, at whatever cost,” he said.
He said that at an earlier meeting among Snap, PKR and MoCS, it was decided that Snap and PKR would combine forces to fight for the Dayaks. However, he said, Snap has reneged on this agreement.
“We want to get rid of the few self-centred leaders in Snap in order to save the party from total annihilation. The few of them in Snap are now MoCS’ No 2 enemy, after Chief Minister Taib Mahmud,” Siah added. – Mkini