KOTA KINABALU (August 13): Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee, chairman of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), recommends that the peninsula-based political parties avoid competing in the next state elections.
“I think since this is a state election it should be contested by local based parties and peninsula based parties should stay out of the election,” he said after managing the annual joint opening of the SAPP Kota Kinabalu branches. There is a general assembly here on Sunday.
“I will suggest that GRS-friendly parties such as PH, BN and PN be out of the race. This is to avoid conflicts between the candidates running in the election. There are local parties for morning people to choose from… submit your election manifesto and let the rakyat decide,” he said.
Yong also said that SAPP, which is part of Perikatan Nasional (PN) at the federal level, will side with the GRS in the state elections.
He was answering the question of which coalition would SAPP favor, as it was part of the GRS at the state level and the PN at the federal level.
“Since we are part of a coalition of seven local parties in Sabah and will race under a single logo, the GRS logo, SAPP will side with the GRS to dispel any doubts. We can negotiate the distribution of seats among ourselves, because in my experience in the last general election, a lot of time and energy was wasted in the negotiations (with the peninsula-based parties),” he said.
According to Yong, negotiations between the GRS and BN about which party competed for some seats in the last provincial election were not completed until the last minute.
“For example, the Likas chair, the night before the seat allocation was finalized, before I went to sleep, the seat would be challenged by SAPP. However, at 7 am the next day, I was informed via WhatsApp that the seat was allocated to MCA and the decision was made at 3 am.
“There was a similar situation with Umno for the general election in November last year. “If only local parties are competing, such nonsense will not happen again because last-minute changes are not a good omen for the party’s already hard working electoral machinery.”
Yong pointed out that SAPP is no stranger to elections and is ready to strengthen its mechanism to assist GRS candidates in areas where it does not compete.
Yong also said he would like to be considered for SAPP’s traditional seats in Likas and Luyang, as well as a few seats the party has set its sights on in Sepanggar, Tawau and Sandakan.
In his previous speech, Yong told the delegates not to give up the fight for the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Some Mornings said that while they are fed up with the delay in enforcing our rights in MA63, they should keep in mind that some strides have been made.
“We have to keep going because there is still a lot to be done. Don’t give up and this is also my message to the new ministers in the federal cabinet,” he said, adding that they should be kept informed about the history and background of MA63.
Yong added that SAPP has been advocating for this issue for over 10 years and has observed that more and more people in Malaysia now understand what MA63 is.
“When the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announced that Malaysian Day, September 16, was declared a national holiday, it was a breakthrough as all Malaysians except Sabah and Sarawak now understand the importance of history.
“This is a tribute to us because before that Malaysia Day was only celebrated in Sabah and Sarawak. More and more people, including lawyers, are now asking questions about the MA63 and wanting to learn more. I applaud Sabah Law Society for handling the case on behalf of all lawyers in Sabah.”
However, Yong believed that awareness of MA63 did not reach the masses quickly because it was not in the school curriculum.
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