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Monday, October 24, 2016

Sabah alliance extends friendship to new local parties

KOTA KINABALU - The three Sabah-based opposition parties are firm in working together under United Sabah Alliance and new political players will have to work through the alliance to defeat Sabah Barisan Nasional in the next elections.

The coalition leaders from Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) led Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, Sabah STAR under Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) headed by Datuk Yong Teck Lee said they will not deal individually with anyone outside the coalition.

The three leaders stand together amid talk that Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal is keen to forge relationships with only a certain political party in the alliance.

"If any of the new local party wants to work with us, it must be through the alliance,’’ Bumburing, the Tamparuli assemblyman, told reporters at a press conference held after the opening of the SAPP congress here Sunday.

"We (the alliance) have worked for two years together. We cannot sacrifice that to new players. They have to respect our unity if they want to work with us," he said.

Yong said the alliance will launch its joint charter on Nov 20 in efforts to intensify the groundwork in areas they will be contesting in the coming elections.

He said the emergence of local parties created by those leaving peninsular-based parties was a good sign and they can with the Sabah alliance.

"SAPP and its alliance partners will extend our hand of friendship and partnership to the new political parties,’’ he added.

Dr Jeffrey said the national Opposition should leave it to Sabah parties to defeat Barisan Nasional in the spirit of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, and the alliance members will support them at the federal level.

Shafie has yet to make any approach to alliance party leaders and there is speculation that Warisan will go into elections with one of the alliance partners.

Former Sabah PKR chairman and Klias assemblyman Datuk Lajim Ukin, who is also setting up his own local-based party, sent a representative to the SAPP congress.

Alliance chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Mansoor, who was in Semporna when Shafie announced his resignation from Umno in July, said there have been some discussions but nothing is committed.

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