(The Star) - Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is backtracking on his aides' move to stop negotiating with Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) ahead of the polls.
Anwar said he considered negotiations between Pakatan Rakyat and SAPP, which is headed by former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, as still being open.
He said Pakatan had, however, finalised the allocation of 90% of Sabah's 25 parliamentary and 60 state assembly seats.
In an immediate response, Yong said Anwar's remarks were typical of conflicting and confusing statements from the Pakatan leadership.
“We have Azmin Ali (PKR deputy president) and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah saying the door is closed for negotiations with SAPP.
“Now, Anwar is saying the opposite,” he said after the SAPP Chinese New Year open house here yesterday.
Yong said SAPP was open to negotiations with any Opposition parties in Sabah, including Pakatan and STAR, headed by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
“Why should the doors be closed when Parliament and the state assembly have not been dissolved yet?” he asked.
He said there had been conflicting formulas offered by Pakatan in the distribution of state and parliamentary seats.
“At one point, they offered us six state and four parliamentary seats.
“Recently, it was revised to all the seats being equally divided between PKR, PAS, DAP, PPS, APS and SAPP. So which is which?” Yong asked.
He said Pakatan's move to allow APS and PPS to contest as political parties under the PKR symbol had added to the confusion.
“These are NGOs masquerading as political parties. How will this work?” Yong asked.
He said apart from an equitable seat allocation, SAPP's concern was also for Sabah autonomy in that the appointment of the chief minister and the state cabinet should be decided in the state, and not in Kuala Lumpur.
“If Anwar can guarantee this, Yong Teck Lee will contest under the PKR symbol,” he joked.