Thursday, January 26, 2017
Sabah opposition parties chase elusive polls pact?
Newcomer Parti Warisan Sabah looks set to go on its own, ignoring offers by local coalition Gabungan Sabah and Pakatan Harapan, who themselves are facing internal strife.
Local opposition parties are still trying to hammer out a deal among themselves for a one-on-one contest against Barisan Nasional in all state seats but it remains a distant dream for now.
Echoing his party president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal, Warisan vice-president Junz Wong said they are prepared to contest in all state seats, numbering 60 pending the inclusion of 13 new constituencies to be tabled in Parliament in March.
The party, which was formed in October last year, has shown little interest in dealing with other opposition parties though Wong said they are still looking for “credible” partners who share their vision to topple the state Barisan Nasional.
“The people can distinguish us from the others. We are here to form the next state government. We must have the determination, even if it means fighting in all seats,” he said.
Wong said other local opposition parties were preoccupied with about 28 Chinese and non-Muslim majority seats.
“If they can’t agree among themselves, they will field their own candidates, as what we saw in the 2013 general election and in the Sarawak polls,” he said.
Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) president Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing (pix) said one-on-one contests against Barisan is the best way to take on the ruling coalition.
PCS is among four parties in the United Sabah Alliance that included the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), STAR and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (Harapan).
“We are ready to work with other parties and remain hopeful that they will decide on the right thing for the rakyat, who want a single candidate to take on Barisan,” Bumburing added.
He also said that Shafie has been giving mixed signals about Warisan’s intentions.
“At one moment he says he is going on his own, then he says he is searching for partners. It is quite confusing," he added.
Harapan president Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said it is difficult for any party to go it alone in the polls, noting that Umno had to team up with other parties in Barisan to win enough seats to form the state government.
He said that as things stand among the local opposition parties for now, there will be at least three-cornered fights in most state seats.
Lajim said it is unlikely that Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will give the green light for Sabah to hold state polls ahead of the general election.
“Such talk is all wayang (drama). It will be damaging for Barisan if it loses any seat in the state polls, which will adversely affect it in the general election,” he added.
SAPP president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee said the alliance is fully geared in its core areas for polls.
As for Pakatan, its Sabah chapter is waiting for the national side to sort out their shifting alliances.
Posted by wikisabah at 5:18:00 PM