Opposition still divided


(The Star) – A deal for a one-to-one fight against Barisan Nasional is unlikely as both national and local-based opposition parties are unable to see eye-to-eye on forming a pact.

Amid talks of secret meetings between Sabah opposition leaders, a senior member of Sabah DAP Hiew King Cheu said it was likely to be a free for all in the coming general election.

Hiew, who is Kota Kinabalu MP, said it was unlikely that DAP or Pakatan Rakyat would be able to work out a deal with two main local-based opposition State Reform Party (STAR) headed by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He said the local-based parties were unrealistic in their approach towards a workable deal.

“A one-to-one fight will never happen. I am not speculating.

“I think there will be more local parties jumping into the fray (before elections),” he said, adding that such a move would be an advantage to Barisan.

“We are not greedy, we also want to share seats,” he said, adding that the stand taken by STAR Sabah chapter chairman Dr Jeffrey that all national parties keep out of Sabah raises a lot of questions about their agenda.

“They have set so many terms and conditions. Is there any hidden deal?” Hiew asked, adding that the local opposition must be realistic in their deals.

Sabah and Sarawak remain bastions for Barisan and the national opposition have been trying to work out a deal with local-based parties particularly SAPP and Sabah STAR to ensure straight fights.

However, both local parties championing state rights have asked the national opposition to stay out and concentrate in peninsular Malaysia.

However, it is learned that Yong and Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong have held secret talks but the progress is believed to be slow as they struggle to deal for a compromise on the mainly urban seats of Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Penampang.

In the last elections, Sabah DAP and Sabah PKR failed to reach a deal and saw both parties contesting against each other and the Barisan. SAPP was with the Barisan and left after the March 2008 elections.