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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clash of Iban slogans between SPDP and Snap

FMT Staff

Aiming to stoke a revival amongst Dayak, Snap’s battlecry is irking rival Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party.

The old Iban war cry ‘Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban’ which literally means “as long as there is life, there is fight” may have been good in the old days but can it hold a candle in this new world?

Well, Barisan Nasional coalition partner Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) thinks not.

SPDP has accused its rival, the re-emerging Sarawak National Party (Snap), of manipulating the famous Iban slogan in a bid to stir up the emotions of Dayaks in rural Sarawak.

Chiding Snap, SPDP vice-president Sylvester Entri Muran said the opposition party is ‘simply wasting its time’ touting the slogan.

“If their slogan is “Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban,” our slogan in Barisan Nasional is “Agi Idup, Agi Mansang (as long as there is life, there is development),” he said.

Entri said Snap had the slogan printed on all its calendars which were being distributed in the rural areas.

He said the words were aimed at inciting the voters to resist government efforts to bring development.

Wasteful effort

Entri, who is the Marudi incumbent, is expected to face Snap president Edwin Dundang in the upcoming state polls.

Speaking to reporters at a longhouse groundbreaking ceremony in Bakong, about 40 kilometres from here, Entrie described Dundang’s strategy of distributing these calenders as a ‘wasteful effort.’

“What the Barisan Nasional distributes will ensure that assets of the people would be inherited by their next generation,” he said alluding to the land titles which the government was issuing to the longhouse folks involved in the Bakong project.

Land titles are among key issues in the run up to the state polls set for April 16.

SPDP, which has been allocated nine seats, is likely to see stiff contest in at least four of its constituencies, including Marudi.

Dismissing speculations that his time was up, Entrie said only the BN governmet had the ability to ‘deliver the goods.’

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