KOTA KINABALU: It will be the survival of the fittest as Pakatan Rakyat prepares to go into the general election — with or without the Opposition parties in Sabah.
Despite several overtures to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and State Reform Party (STAR) for talks over one-on-one contests against Barisan Nasional, there seems to be little progress — or none at all.
While Sabah DAP wants equal sharing of the 60 state and 25 parliament seats in the state, SAPP, under former chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, is offering the national Opposition two-thirds of the parliament seats. However, it wants two-thirds of the state seats for local parties.
Sabah STAR chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who remained insistent that the national Opposition parties keep out of the state, has yet to make any move to engage them in talks.
Yesterday, Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong said time was running out for a deal with local parties which, he claimed, was not interested in having a single candidate take on Barisan in the state.
“We are still open but everyone must be sincere. Everyone must stop criticising each other in public and sit down (for talks),” he said, adding that DAP’s starting offer to Yong was for all parties with their incumbents to retain their seats.
“We’ll try our best for a deal but if not, we will let the people decide. It will be the survival of the fittest,” he added.
However, Yong said although the offer for incumbents to retain their seats could be made a reference point, consideration should also be given to those without seats like STAR, PKR, and PAS.
“His (Wong) main objective is to retain his (Sri Tanjung state) seat. But what about others who are not incumbents?” said Yong, who had met Wong on seat sharing talks recently.
SAPP currently holds the Sepanggar and Tawau parliamentary seats and the Likas and Luyang state seats.