KOTA KINABALU - A Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) source says a breakdown in seat allocation talks between the party and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will not help PR scuttle its chances in the state.
As such, PR should choose between marching into Putrajaya and wresting control of the state, it said, adding the opposition pact can not have its cake and eat it too, Oriental Daily News reported today.
An electoral pact between PR and state opposition parties can definitely shake, or even defeat, Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election (GE).
But if they fail in their seat allocation talks, resulting in multi-cornered fights, it will only benefit BN.
Late last year, Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the party was focusing on working out a seat allocation pact with Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS).
However, last weekend, he said PR's seat negotiations in Sabah were being hampered by SAPP's demand to contest the lion's share of the 60 state seats.
He said the entire negotiation was rendered more difficult because all the three PR parties do not seem to agree on the need to allocate that many seats to SAPP.
It is learnt that SAPP intends to contest five to eight parliamentary and 40 state seats. In the 2008 GE, the party won all two parliamentary and four state seats it contested under the BN banner.
Anwar has roped in APS and PPS to form a five-member Sabah PR. His latest remarks on seat negotiations in the state show that Sabah PR is in a predicament – too few seats for too many parties.
"We don't know whether Anwar is creating opportunities or difficulties in the state. If all parties can talk amicably, allowing Sabah-based parties to take the lead role, things can be worked out," said the SAPP source.
It is learnt that apart from eyeing predominantly Chinese constituencies in the state, DAP is also keen to go for Kadazan-majority seats.
"Although it is seen that SAPP is a Chinese-based, it is actually also a Non-Racial party will also contest in Chinese-majority areas. Party membership in SAPP has a majority of bumis over Chinese.
"If DAP insists on contesting in these seats, leaving SAPP with the same number of seats (two parliamentary and four state seats) to contest, a pact will be meaningless," added the source.
Last month, SAPP chief Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the party would continue to negotiate with State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan on seat allocation, and the latter had told Yong to choose between peninsula-based PR and STAR.
"The two (Sabah) parties are still in negotiation. We believe STAR has its influence in some constituencies," said the source.
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