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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Local opposition leaders must swallow pride, says Gabungan Sabah

KOTA KINABALU - A Gabungan Sabah leader has urged local opposition parties, including Parti Warisan Sabah and Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), to work together with the alliance in the coming 14th general election (GE14).

Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah deputy president Maijol Mahap said he believed all local opposition parties in Sabah want the same thing for the state but their way of going about it may differ.

“There are four parties in Gabungan and we are already united.

“For me, personally, I would like to enlarge the alliance by incorporating all opposition parties and this means Warisan and PCS.

“However, it does not mean we want to force them to be in Gabungan. Just cooperating with one another will serve the purpose.

“I hope, before the Dewan Rakyat and the Sabah assembly are dissolved, Warisan and PCS can give us the chance to talk about this possibility,” he told FMT.

Gabungan consists of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR), led by Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), led by Yong Teck Lee, Harapan Rakyat, led by Lajim Ukin and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS), headed by Arshad Abdul Mualap.

Mahap said the party leaders would have to swallow their pride for the sake of the people.

He took the example of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who at one time was the sworn enemy of DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Despite the animosity between these leaders, he said they are willing to look past their history and sit together because they have a common goal they want to achieve.

“If they can do that, we in Sabah surely can do it too. Compared to them, opposition leaders in Sabah never had that kind of animosity towards each other.

“We just happen to be in different political parties.”

Mahap, who came close to defeating Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Maximus Ongkili in the previous election under PKR, said he had consulted the people in Kota Marudu before he left PKR to join Harapan Rakyat.

He said many people had come to see him and talked to him to say that the only way forward for Sabah is to vote for local parties.

‘Tired of Malayan-based parties’

He added that the people are tired of being under the rule of Malayan-based parties, including opposition parties.

“I think that sentiment is easy to understand because our people’s aspiration now is more autonomy for Sabah. This can be achieved through local-based parties.”

He pointed out that although there are local parties in BN such as PBS, these parties are tied to the policies of Malaya-based Umno.

“With all due respect to PBS, the party is now just following what BN dictates them to do.

“Of course, I don’t deny they have their own aspirations. They want the best for Sabah. I know, I understand.

“But no matter what, they cannot achieve what they want because they have to follow Umno.”

This is why, said Mahap, the people want a new and a different way of getting what they want.

As of now, the people want parties that can struggle for Sabah’s autonomy.

Mahap also pointed out that demanding for Sabah’s autonomy should not be translated into leaving Malaysia because Gabungan never said that was its intention.

“Nevertheless, we have to voice out our demands to get what is due to us. All these can be found in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report.

“As long as BN rules us, I think there is no chance of seeing the MA63 and IGC report implemented.” - FMT

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