SANDAKAN: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) will coordinate with other parties in the Gabungan Sabah coalition to campaign alongside and vote for Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the upcoming Sandakan polls.
SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee also expressed support towards PBS' hopeful Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin.
The Gabungan Sabah coalition consists of Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (Sabah STAR), SAPP, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS) and Parti Kebangsaan Sabah (PKS).
"It is open knowledge that SAPP and PBS have not been on the best terms in the last 25 years.
"Therefore, since SAPP can support PBS in the interest of Sabah rights, I believe that each and every Malaysian in Sandakan, can also support PBS," he said in a statement issued on Friday (April 26).
Yong acknowledged Barisan Nasional's decision to not contest in the Sandakan polls, saying that it is a good sign that the political autonomy of Sabah is being accepted by more people outside the East Malaysian state.
"It is sufficient for Sabah local parties to work with peninsula-based national parties without having to be tied to a national coalition whereby Sabah parties are subservient to national parties," he said.
Yong also said that it will be an uphill task to defeat DAP in the looming Sandakan polls, as the Pakatan Harapan component party managed to secure a more than 10,000 vote majority during the previous general election.
"But, unfulfilled promises, the arrogance of power and incompetence of the current ministers are issues that DAP leaders will have to defend.
"The poor state of the Sandakan economy, fuel prices, new taxes and costs of living are other issues that DAP must answer."
The Sandakan polls was triggered following the death of its incumbent MP Datuk Stephen Wong last March.
DAP has fielded Wong's daughter Vivian Wong while PBS chose Tsen, a former two-term Batu Sapi MP, to slug it off in the May 11 polls.
At present, it is speculated that the Sandakan polls could see the participation of up to four independent candidates.