AFTER forming an electoral pact with Parti Warisan Sabah and Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), Sabah Pakatan Harapan is also in talks with a third state opposition party to form a bigger Sabah PH plus.
Sabah PH chairman Christina Liew, however, refused to reveal the name of the new party.
“There are also others we are in talks with. But you have to wait and see,” she told The Malaysian Insight.
This comes amid heightened calls by Sabahans for a united opposition to ensure straight fights in the coming 14th general election.
The electoral pact with Warisan and PCS was confirmed during the launch of the opposition bloc’s second manifesto in Keningau on December 14, where Liew had hinted that members of the state parties would be present.
Warisan youth chief Azis Jamman and his deputy Nicholas Chak, as well as several PCS members turned up at the event, where PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu were present.
Warisan has made it clear that it will not join Pakatan Harapan (PH) but will work in an electoral pact with them.
PCS, led by Tamparuli assemblyman Wilfred Bumburing, on the other hand was a former member of Sabah opposition coalition United Sabah Alliance (USA). PCS had also announced it will not be joining as a component in PH.
Sabah PH has already snubbed USA, which is made up of Sabah Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah Star), Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, Sabah Progressive Party, and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah, despite having the same goal of ousting the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in Sabah.
“The issue is winning. Can these seats be won by some parties who claim they have the support of the people,” said Liew.
“USA already announced contesting in all the seats. So no choice for us but to go for three- or four-cornered fights.”
The rift between Sabah PH and USA is further widened by Sabah DAP declaration to field a candidate in Bingkor, where Sabah Star president Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is the incumbent.
Several PH sources claim USA’s motives are suspect, saying that it was funded by unknown individuals bent on spliting votes, allowing for an easy with for BN.
When asked whether it was Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri (PAN) led by former PBS leader Henrynus Amin, Liew refused to confirm and said “watch closely… as some parties have already announced which seats they are contesting in advance.”
PAN is seen as the likely choice as it made it clear that it will go into the 14 general election by themselves or with “friends” after announcing it has established a presence in 10 parliamentary areas in Sabah last November.
There have been no news as to whether the opposition parties in Sabah have started seat distribution negotiations, after Sabah PH completed seat discussions among its component parties on December 9.
However, Liew is optimistic in resolving the seat issues with partners Warisan and PCS, who comprise former leaders of the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat opposition bloc.
During GE13, Pakatan Rakyat won the Tamparuli, Likas and Kapayan state seats and Penampang parliamentary seat.
But its elected representatives Junz Wong (DAP-Likas), Darell Leiking (PKR-Penampang) have joined Warisan, while Edwin Bosi (DAP-Kapayan) has joined PAN, and Bumburing (PKR-Tamparuli) formed PCS.