SAPP tells Sabah DAP leader to grow up

SAPP has accused DAP of trying to sabotage its bid to work with the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Queville To, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has accused DAP of trying to sabotage its bid to work with the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to ensure the opposition succeeds in toppling the Barisan Nasional government.

A day after DAP Youth leader and the party’s central committee member Junz Wong launched a scathing attack on the local opposition party and accused it of splitting the opposition vote, SAPP’s information chief Chong Pit Fah declared that they would not be side-tracked by those bent on playing coalition politics.

Chong stressed that negotiations with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim would continue despite DAP attempting to undermine the negotiations to let local parties contest a majority of the state seats “while we will render our full cooperation and support to ensure that Pakatan goes to Putrajaya”.

“For the sake of the political future of Sabah, we are willing to work on a formula to ensure a one-to-one contest to enhance every opposition candidate’s chances of victory over BN candidates,” he added.

Wong’s statement that was carried on the front page under the title “DAP-SAPP spat over seats rages” by the mainstream media which usually buries opposition stories in their inner pages or does not carry it at all caught many by surprise.

SAPP leaders were curious if the DAP Youth leader’s statement that SAPP had “evil intentions” and was out to split the opposition vote represented the coalition’s feelings, and that of DAP or merely his own opinion.

Wong justified his attack by claiming that Sabah DAP had been under constant attack by SAPP ever since his party had announced that it would be contesting the Sandakan parliamentary seat and the Elopura, Tanjung Papat and Karamunting state seats in the coming general election.

Confusing opposition supporters

Chong described Wong’s statement as politically immature as well as ”arrogant and presumptuous” and had confused opposition supporters especially as negotiations were on-going.

SAPP’s intention to contest the Sandakan constituencies such as Tanjung Papat and Elopura which was lost to Gerakan after a series of defections has been well known and Chong said the DAP leader was being disingenuous by bringing it up to drive a wedge between SAPP and the coalition.

Wong’s outburst also cast doubt on whether its local leaders would toe the line if Pakatan leaders particularly Anwar and senior DAP leaders came to an agreement with SAPP on seat sharing.

The DAP leader categorically stated that whatever Anwar, who is also Pakatan component PKR leader, and SAPP agreed to was strictly between them and had nothing to do with the other coalition members.

“SAPP is not part of Pakatan. SAPP has clarified that they will work with Anwar for possible seat negotiation, which means they will negotiate for seats agreed upon for PKR only, not PAS and certainly not DAP,” Wong said in his statement.

“If SAPP thinks (party president) Yong Teck Lee can deal with Pakatan the way SAPP used to deal with BN, then Yong is so wrong! Pakatan is not BN!” he said.