It wasn’t a negotiation but an order 

The administration of Sabah State must be by Sabahans without a push button. If Kelantan, Selangor and Penang (opposition-held States) can administer their own states then we ought to be asking ourselves why can’t we? 

Hj Amde Sidik, Deputy President of SAPP

When PKR – Azmin Ali and Tian Chua – said the door is closed to SAPP and no more talks, it was a kind of ultimatum not to even come close to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Its a surprise such quick finishing for some people was followed up later by the usual statement that SAPP is unreasonable if not stubborn.

SAPP has been deliberately responding only mildly or merely mimed unfriendly statements made in the media by fellow oppositions in the past few weeks.

The idea behind the silence was to avoid giving conflicting signals to Sabah’s voters. SAPP leaders have been accused of being arrogant and uncooperative lots but those who have been following the struggle of the party are unlikely to be perturbed by such remarks.

At the same time, SAPP leaders have been going left to right all along for the purpose of seeking ways to consolidate teamwork with other oppositions, both PKR and Star, while firmly maintaining the principle of the struggle for Sabah Autonomy with reference to the Malaysian Agreement signed in 1963.

SAPP believes this is the opportune time for Sabahans to change the government which has been ruling the State for the past 50 years resulting in massive abuse of state resources, in particular in land.

The administration of Sabah State must be by Sabahans without a push button. If Kelantan, Selangor and Penang (opposition-held States) can administer their own states then we ought to be asking ourselves why can’t we?

Only yesterday, PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim said talks are still open, meaning SAPP and PR can still talk about party seats allocation. Does it mean that the duo (Azmin Ali and Tian Chua) made a mistake in closing the door too soon?

Earlier, SAPP Youth Chief Edward Dagul asked PR leaders to spell out how many seats do they (Pakatan) want SAPP to field in the forthcoming GE?

The idea behind the question was so that we could respond quickly as we have in fact a ready line-up. Our planning had been in place more than three years ago, long before any other opposition party announced or even existed.

SAPP has been making statement after statement about fielding simple majority seats.

SAPP would field where we have candidates and infrastructure ready.

Two days later, Azmin Ali and Tian Chua came out with the mathematics. They said 60 divided by 6; that means Party Keadilan will take 10, PPPS 10, APS 10, DAP10, PAS 10 and SAPP 10.

There is no consideration on allocation of seats for Star, another opposition Borneo-based political party.

Now let’s see, if this number is agreeable to the people of Sabah, when SAPP has been talking all along about State Autonomy, would this mathematical arrangement make sense to SAPP supporters?

Let me recall my little experience watching this roller coaster kind of decision-making. Sarawak is the case in hand, negotiations between Sarawak National Party SNAP and PR during the Sarawak State General Election of 2011. I was SAPP’s representative to observe SNAP and Pakatan negotiations.

SNAP was proposing to field 27 seats mainly at the Iban majority area but was rejected by the same PR Chief negotiator, Azmin Ali. Instead, SNAPP was offered only 3 seats and later revised to 4 seats of 71 the total number of seats in Sarawak DUN. Now just think about it. Negotiation failed.

The result of the State General Election SNAP lost very badly of 27 candidates fielded, and PKR who fielded 49 won only 3. Baru Bian designated to be Chief Minister won only by a whisker in Bekakalan DUN.

The SNAP disaster was due to lack of preparations and no machineries as the party was just reactivated after a long absence. The onslaught from all corners was unbearable to them.

SAPP has to be on safeguard all the time not to fall into this trap again where it isn’t really a negotiation but rather an order, whether you’re in or you’re out.

Sabahans have been informed of SAPP’s eight point declarations and autonomy is the threshold of the party struggle, which is not exchangeable with anything less.