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Saturday, September 8, 2012

SAPP confident of one-on-one fights

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is confident that opposition parties will come to an agreement on straight fights with the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming general election.

This is despite the pessimism expressed by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang that it is difficult for the opposition parties to achieve a one-on-one fight against the BN, said its President, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

"The two basic principles agreed between SAPP and Pakatan leaders are that Sabah local parties will contest a majority of the State seats and share the burden in contesting some of the difficult seats.

"This is the view of Pakatan leaders in view of the Sarawak State elections last year, which saw DAP contesting most of the easy seats, leaving BN strongholds to PKR, PAS and SNAP to fight," he said.

He said this when asked to comment on Lim's statement that hinted at non-cooperation among the opposition during a DAP function here last Monday.

The SAPP, he said, is willing to face Umno in their stronghold areas and at the same time contest in non-Umno areas.

He said this is consistent with the struggle for autonomy of Sabah where local parties contest most of Sabah state seats so that the State Government, should the opposition win, would not be appointed by Federal-based parties.

But he assured that SAPP would support other parties including Sabah State Reform Party (Star) and also Pakatan Rakyat coalition parties so as to win more parliamentary seats and to capture Putrajaya.

"Like in Sandakan, I have repeatedly and openly offered to the DAP that SAPP will only contest its incumbent seats in Elopura and Tanjong Papat and that we support the DAP or PKR for the Sandakan parliamentary seat including the Karamunting State seat," he said.

Yong said SAPP also harbours hope to contest in one or two Umno seats in Sandakan.

This formula, according to him, received overwhelming response from the people in Sandakan.

Hence, he said, SAPP Sandakan leaders were shocked when the DAP about two weeks ago announced in Sandakan that DAP would be contesting in all three State and one parliamentary seats in Sandakan.

"Lim's admission that it is hard to achieve a consensus even in Sarawak proves that the stumbling block to the opposition's cooperation has nothing to do with SAPP because SAPP is not in Sarawak," he said.

He said the SAPP has declared earlier this year that it would not contest in Labuan but support any Pakatan candidate contesting there.

"This again shows that it is not the SAPP that is hindering cooperation among the opposition parties," he stressed.

Yong said the opposition should not lose its sight of the intense infighting among BN parties and Umno leaders in Sabah.

He said the situation is making it easier for the opposition to deny BN its "fixed deposit" Sabah seats, thus paving the way for the toppling of BN at the national level.

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