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‘SAPP is not a three-month old party, Jeffrey’

July 8, 2012

Since leaving BN three years ago SAPP has been consistently working in KDM areas and has within its fold capable and winnable KDM leaders.


By Amde Sidik

State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chapter chairman Dr Jeffery Kitingan has recently said that Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP) was still giving him a headache.

FMT in its article – Jeffrey’s twin ‘thorns’ – Bumburing, SAPP, published on July 5 – quoted him as saying “It’s SAPP that bothers me…”

As a deputy president of SAPP, I am not sure how to respond to his statement.

Usually SAPP leaders would just keep quiet, but I feel this time I should respectfully state our stand.

I don’t exactly know what Jeffery means when he said we are a ‘headache’ because when we met a couple of weeks ago everything was all right.

We, in SAPP, do not change our mind for the sake of changing, because it could confuse people.

We have been consistent in our stand and have time and again reiterated the same thing.

Three years ago we made known to the public our eight points declarations and now we have a comprehensive party manifesto, with extensive descriptions on economic and land matters.

So far SAPP’s leaders are quite coherent and tactfully consistent in handling sticky issues which is likely to cause uneasiness among fellow oppositions.

For SAPP nothing is more important than sticking together, not just within the party but also all among opposition parties in Sabah.

This is because we believe the work to defeat Barisan Nasional (BN) is so great a task. We therefore cannot afford to waste our energy and time unnecessarily.

But sometimes being tactful could also lead to all kind of interpretations such as us being construed as arrogant, uncooperative, greedy and so forth.

Untouchable KDM areas?

To be frank, SAPP (bumiputera) leaders are too preoccupied with their work on the ground and this is one of reasons why they could not care less what others are saying.

Which brings me to Jeffrey’s statement about SAPP encroaching into KDM areas.

To me this sounds a bit odd if not old fashion. Are (KDM-turfs) really that divided? Are we (KDM areas) now a kind of untouchable territory?

Have we not had enough of what Umno (and its divisive policies) has done to us?

SAPP would contest in places where it is prepared. And a reminder to Jeffrey, SAPP wasn’t born three months ago.

SAPP members have been working on ground zero tirelessly for the last three years. It was hard work at the beginning, but we see the fruit of our labour now.

Of course, many of our leaders are not in the media limelight and 80% of our activities never get reported, especially those in the interior and rural kampungs.

But that did not bother us before, and it still does not bother us now. SAPP has been working to prepare for general election since three years ago.

In fact we’ve been working in these areas since SAPP got out of BN and and the idea behind this was to avoid the need for people to parachute in at the last hour to become candidates.

A great many SAPP members are party workers who have no intention of becoming candidates.

They work as hard as the leaders and we have them all over Sabah – in urban, semi urban and in rural kampungs.

And this is what we in SAPP think we really are – we are propagating non-racial politics.

‘We have KDM leaders’

Of course for all intent and practical purposes it may not work 100% today and this is due to many reasons, one of which is the stereotyped idea engrained in our old leaders’ mentality.

But if we do not attempt to change this thinking today, we will never start anyway.

In short, if SAPP is contesting in KDM areas, it is because SAPP has KDM leaders in those areas.

I do not think there is such a thing as territory exclusiveness belonging to a particular political party.

I would like to make it absolutely clear here that we are friends to all opposition but Umno (Anything But Umno – ABU)

Amde Sidik is the deputy president of Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP)

Also read:

Jeffrey’s twin ‘thorns’ – Bumburing, SAPP


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