Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee proposes that peninsular-based political parties refrain from contesting in the next state election.
“My view is that as it is a state election, it should be contested by local-based parties and that peninsular-based parties should stay out of the election,” he said when met after officiating the joint opening of SAPP Kota Kinabalu branches annual general meeting here on Sunday.
“I will propose that GRS friendly parties including PH, BN and PN stay out of the race. This is to avoid any overlapping of candidates contesting in the election. There are local parties Sabahans can choose from … present your election manifesto and let the rakyat decide,” said the nominated assemblyman.
Yong also said that SAPP, which is part of Perikatan Nasional (PN) at the federal level, will be standing with GRS in the state election.
He was replying to the question on which coalition SAPP will stand with as it is part of GRS at the state level and PN at the federal level.
“To clear any doubts, SAPP will stand with GRS as we are part of the coalition of seven local-based parties in Sabah and we will be contesting under one logo, GRS’ logo. We can negotiate on the seats allocation between ourselves because from my experience in the last general election, too much time and energy were wasted in negotiations (with peninsular-based parties),” he said.
According to Yong, at the last state election, negotiations between GRS and BN on which party was contesting in some of the seats was unable to be completed even till the last minute.
“For example the Likas seat, the night before the distribution of seats was finalised, before I went to sleep, the seat was to be contested by SAPP. But at 7am the next day I was informed through WhatsApp that the seat had been allocated to MCA and the decision was made at 3am.
“Then it was a similar situation with Umno for the general election in November last year. If only local parties are contesting, there will be no more of such nonsense because last minute changes do not augur well for the party’s election machinery that is already hard at work,” he said.
Yong pointed out that SAPP is no stranger to elections and is ready to strengthen its machinery to assist GRS candidates in areas it is not contesting in.
Yong also said that SAPP wants to be considered for its traditional seats in Likas and Luyang as well as a couple of seats the party has its eyes on in Sepanggar, Tawau and Sandakan.
Earlier Yong in his speech told the delegates not to give up on the fight for the fulfilment of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
He said that although some Sabahans are fed up with the delay in the implementation of our rights as enshrined in the MA63, they should bear in mind that some breakthroughs have been achieved.
“We must continue because there is still much more that needs to be achieved. Do not give up and this is also my message to the new ministers at the federal cabinet,” he said, adding that they need to be briefed on the background and history of MA63.
Yong added that SAPP has been championing this issue for more than 10 years and his observation was that more people in Malaysia now understand what MA63 is all about.
“When the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the gazettement of September 16 which is Malaysia Day as a national public holiday, it was a breakthrough as Malaysians throughout the country other than in Sabah and Sarawak now understood the significance of the date.
“It is a recognition for us because before that Malaysia Day was only celebrated in Sabah and Sarawak. Now more and more people including lawyers are asking about MA63 and want to know more. I applaud Sabah Law Society for taking up the case on behalf of all lawyers in Sabah,” he said.
However, Yong believed the awareness about MA63 was not reaching the masses quickly as it is not in the school syllabus.
Source : The Borneo Post