In recent weeks SAPP president Yong Teck Lee has been heard accusing BN and Pakatan Rakyat of trying to subdue any party that fights for Sabah autonomy and the peoples' rights.
If the latest speeches by SAPP leaders are any indication, all that is left now is for the party to try and work it out with another opposition party, the State Reform Party (STAR), which has adamantly refused to “work under” any peninsular party.
For the past one week SAPP president Yong Teck Lee, in his speeches, has been very critical of all peninsula-based parties.
He has been accusing them of trying to subdue any party that fights for Sabah autonomy or to regain whatever glory the state had before the entry of the hegemonic central power.
In Tenghilan, Tuaran recently, Yong repeated his call for the people to give priority to Sabah-based parties like SAPP and urged them to ignore Pakatan and Barisan Nasional if they want an autonomous state within the federation.
“Under Pakatan and BN, everything will be decided in Kuala Lumpur, there is no autonomy for Sabah. They want to decide and control everything in Sabah…
“[Unlike SAPP], their candidates need not come down to the kampungs to get nominated for election. All they have to do is go to Kuala Lumpur and lobby the leaders there for their candidacy in Sabah,” Yong told 160 SAPP grassroots leaders.
According to him, whether in Pakatan or BN, the authority to appoint candidates lay with leaders in Kuala Lumpur and that explained why aspiring Sabahans more often than not tried to please their Kuala Lumpur bosses rather than listening to and fighting for issues close to the heart of ordinary Sabahans.
“This is dangerous for Sabah’s fight for autonomy. People must reject leaders who do not have the audacity to [make] demands for Sabah.. They don’t fight for Norikoh [murdered girl in a suspected attempted rape in Kota Marudu recently] or ask why the [Nomad] plane crashed [in 1976 killing then chief minister Fuad Stephens and other ministers].
“And mind you, Kuala Lumpur leaders dislike those who ask questions or question them…” said Yong.
He also questioned the rationale of 500 Sabahans being flown to Kuala Lumpur recently during the Pakatan-organised “Himpunan Rakyat” when Sabah needed them most here.
“How much did the 500 spend to go there? RM1 million was spent just to be seen and rubbing shoulders with their KL leaders. If they so wanted to serve the kampung folks, come down to the kampungs lah,” he said.
But all is not lost yet, he said, adding that the opportunity to right the wrong politics is now at hand again.
“According to the Malaysia Agreement and the 20 Points [Sabah’s original pre-conditions to forming Malaysia], our autonomy is in our hands. Now is the time for you to use that power to reclaim your right,” he said.
SAPP deputy president, Eric Majimbun, who also spoke at the Tenghilan function, pointed out that SAPP is convinced Sabahans could not rely on outsiders to fight for them.
“SAPP is the only local party that we Sabahans could hope for to fight for us now,” he said, adding that SAPP is putting up candidates in many seats it felt it could win.
Currently, SAPP has two members of parliament and holds another two state seats which it won while still in BN at the last general election in 2008.
The party left BN weeks after the election.