SAPP won’t support ‘any’ reverse takeover of Sabah

As far as SAPP is concerned, neither Sabah PKR and its NGO allies – PPPS and APS – nor STAR, will qualify to form the government irrespective of how they fare in the GE13. 

Quevllie To, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: A week into the campaign period, things are not looking comfortable for the Independents and at least one of the two registered local opposition parties.

Early indications are that SAPP is struggling to win over voters and its president Yong Teck Lee, a former Sabah chief minister, has shifted tactics and taken the fight to the national opposition front Pakatan Rakyat.

However, the party’s manoeuvre may also be construed as helping the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition which is facing what appears to be a downslide in support.

He said that in the event the BN loses Putrajaya to Pakatan and consequently some of the Sabah Umno YBs defect to PAS and PKR to make up a majority of Sabah state seats, “SAPP will reject such reverse takeover of Sabah which replaces Umno with another Umno using ‘frogs’”.

“This is unacceptable as, it will do more harm to Sabah,” said Yong.

He said that should the BN lose power at federal level on May 5, then it was probable that BN component parties like Upko, PBS and LDP would abandon the coalition paving the way for political autonomy at state level.

Yong, like other local politicians struggling to make their voices heard in an atmosphere of change in the state, said it would be a waste of time and effort for the people of Sabah to vote for those political parties which are not registered in Sabah, especially if they are contesting in the state constituencies.

This, he said, is because of a 1990 amendment to the Sabah Constitution which states that the leader of a political party that has won the majority of seats will be made the chief minister.

He noted that the amendment was made just before the PBS state government faced off against the Usno-LDP-AKAR pact in the state elections of 1990.

He said the amendment came about to prevent a repeat of the 1985 power grab by Berjaya and Usno assembly representatives who won a combined 22 seats as opposed to PBS’s 25 seats out of a total of 48 at the time. One seat, Moyog, went to an independent.

“The effect is that for the purposes of forming the state government under the state constitution, the combined number of seats won by Usno, LDP and AKAR does not count as one bloc,” said Yong.

“This is because Usno, LDP and AKAR were contesting as separate parties and not under one party with one common symbol.

“As far as the constitution is concerned, it is the political party that counts. Electoral pacts using different symbols by different parties do not count as one single entity under the law,” he said.