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PH confident of winning at least half of Sabah seats, says Dr M

 | September 6, 2017

PH chairman says the pact is working closely with Parti Warisan Sabah.


PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan, with the help of Parti Warisan Sabah, is confident of winning at least half of the parliamentary and state seats in Sabah.

Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Warisan was very supportive of the coalition.

Mahathir said due to the weakness of the central government, the people of Sabah and Sarawak had become ‘very territorial’.

“They talk about Sarawak for Sarawakians, and similarly Sabah for Sabahans. They express dislike for domination by peninsular political parties.

“If we go there, it would look like we are trying to dominate. So we would rather work with parties there.

“One party in particular is very supportive of us. They can win at least half the parliamentary and state seats in Sabah,” he said during a town hall meeting here today.

As for Sarawak, Mahathir said things were slightly different for them as the state liked to be on the winning side.

Mahathir also said Sabah and Sarawak were no longer fixed deposits for the federal government, despite bearing that tag previously.

“They dare not have elections in Sabah because they know they won’t do well. If they can do as well as they did in Sarawak, then they will hold elections.

“It is very dicey for them. With the two states no longer being ‘fixed deposits’ for the government, they are now also worried about the peninsula, because they can only form a government if they can win in Sabah and Sarawak.”

He said if they lose both states, BN will lose in the elections.

On the issue of autonomy for both Sabah and Sarawak, Mahathir said autonomy had many interpretations.

“We need to give Sarawak more authority in certain areas, but not full autonomy, as it would mean they act independently. It also means the breakup of Malaysia as a federation. The same applies to Sabah,” he said.

Mahathir, however, noted that full autonomy would not be acceptable to a large number of Sabahans and Sarawakians.

“They don’t want to be fully autonomous but they do want more authority over their states,” he added.

A contentious issue for decades, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) became one of the core issues in Sabah and Sarawak in recent times, especially after former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem sought the return of the state’s rights and powers, as enshrined in the agreement.

In June, a technical committee, co-chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri, from Sarawak, and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, from Sabah, was formed to study the devolution of power to both states.

The committee was to work on identifying issues of non-compliance in the context of the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC), the MA63, and the Federal Constitution, as well as the Cobbold Commission Report, and to provide recommendations and solutions for the federal government to consider.

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Sarawak and Sabah: Autonomy and Integration

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