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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stay out of Borneo, Saksama tells Pakatan

KUCHING - New opposition coalition Gabungan Rakyat Saksama (Saksama) said it will only work with Pakatan Harapan if the peninsula-based pact refrains from contesting in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Otherwise, there will be [a] free for all in the coming general election,” Saksama spokesman Lina Soo told Malay Mail Online.

Soo, who is president of the Sarawak Reform Party (Reform) which is part of the seven-member Saksama, also told PKR and the DAP that Saksama would be most happy to join forces with “other parties from Malaya” who have the same agenda, that is, for a better Malaysia.

“But such [a] pact must be on the principle of three equal partners comprising the regions of Sarawak, Sabah and peninsular Malaysia in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement signed in 1963,” she said.

“Therefore, opposition political parties from the peninsula must respect our regional status by not going to Sarawak and Sabah. Likewise, we, in Sarawak, will not be putting up candidates in the peninsula or Sabah. We will confine ourselves to our turf,” Soo added.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said yesterday that Pakatan Harapan ― a national opposition pact comprising PKR, the DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) ― was willing to cooperate with Saksama, but such an alliance should be based on a “common agenda”.

The Sarawak state election last May saw clashes between PKR and the DAP in six constituencies that they lost to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). The 13th general election in 2013 saw many multi-corner fights in Sabah with local opposition parties, but they lost in almost all the seats they contested.

Apart from Reform, the other six parties forming Saksama are Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru), Parti Sejahtera Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (SAPU), Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah (Perpaduan), Sabah-based Malaysia United People's Party (MUPP), Parti Kebangsaan Sabah (PKS), and the People’s Alternative Party (PAP) from the peninsula.

Saksama is due to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on August 1 to formalise the pact.

Saksama is an acronym for Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya, and the pact says it subscribes to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 which places Sarawak, Sabah and the peninsula as equal partners in the formation of Malaysia.

By Sulok Tawie

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