KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah has agreed to discuss electoral seat arrangements with Sabah Pakatan Harapan but voiced its displeasure over Sabah DAP’s purported “ultimatum” on a 60:40 seat sharing ratio.
Warisan secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr said the party is looking forward to a formidable Sabah-based opposition.
In a statement issued yesterday, Padua however seemed to focus on Warisan working with Sabah PKR with scant attention paid to their partner Sabah DAP or Sabah Amanah.
“I look forward to a major political cooperation between Warisan and PKR for seats where both parties will be contesting.
“In order for us to pacify ‘three-cornered fights’ that would lead to split votes, we will need to present ourselves as formidable and credible parties that represent the nation and state,” he said.
On Wednesday, Sabah DAP leader Stephen Wong announced that Sabah Pakatan was offering Warisan the lead, giving 36 of the 60 state seats, while Pakatan should be given 15 of the 25 parliamentary seats.
But a day later, Sabah Pakatan chairman Christina Liew denied Wong’s formula, only agreeing that Pakatan would give Warisan the lead in the state.
Padua thanked Liew for her swift and affirmative action in preventing any further misunderstanding.
According to Padua, the “ultimatum” announced by Wong just after the closed-door meeting of Sabah Pakatan on Wednesday had certainly taken Warisan’s senior leaders and party members by surprise.
“Of course, DAP had been anxious to settle seat negotiations with Warisan since early last year but the anxiety on its part cannot justify the shocking announcement made by Wong, more so when there had been no official negotiation between both sides on this matter.
“Wong did not point out that the announcement on the ratio was preliminary, hence it is only natural for Warisan’s party members and supporters to unleash their anger through social media,” he said.
“It was not because of the ‘ratio itself’ but the way Wong had presented the so-called ‘offer’.”
He said this caused a misunderstanding that was detrimental to the state’s opposition bloc when both Warisan and DAP supporters unleashed torrents of attacks and defensive comments at each other.
Padua also said what had transpired between Warisan and Sabah Pakatan this week clearly showed that Warisan was no proxy of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as many claimed it to be.
“If Warisan is indeed a proxy of Tun Mahathir, then obviously there would have been no issue in relation to seat distribution in Sabah between Warisan and the state Pakatan because he (Tun Mahathir) would have instructed us to accept whatever Sabah Pakatan offered,” he said.
“As the Pakatan chairman it would be easier for Dr Mahathir to simply instruct his so-called proxy (Warisan) to settle the seat distribution with Sabah Pakatan behind closed doors without any problem and as such, spare everyone the headache,” he said.