KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans have all to gain by backing the local-based Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) that has never wavered in its struggle for what is rightfully due to the state.
That was the message as SAPP, a component of the four-party Gabungan Sabah coalition, kicked off its campaign at a ceramah at the Foh Sang commercial area on Saturday.
SAPP president Yong Teck Lee, who is contesting the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat, said among the party’s core missions is to stand and speak for Sabahans no matter how tough the obstacles.
“We were here five years ago and we are here now. We will continue to fight for Sabah’s rights,” he said to the cheers of hundreds of people at the ceramah, where the party introduced its other candidates.
They include Richard Yong, who is contesting the Likas state seat, Gee Tien Siong (Luyang), Lim Kat Chung (Api Api), Chong Pit Fah (Kapayan) under the Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) logo, and Noraiza Mohd Noor under the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah symbol.
He said SAPP is proud to be part of Gabungan Sabah that comprised four local-based parties.
“We are not answerable to Malaya, only to Sabahans. We will not bow to ‘Ketuanan Malaya’. We are not like those in BN and PH who have to report to their masters in Malaya,” Yong said to the loud applause and cheers from the crowd.
He said SAPP had been speaking out for a decade on regaining Sabah’s rights, as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, and this is a “popular” cause taken up by other political parties, including BN.
Yong said SAPP is the only party with the vision to speak about how the “One Belt One Road” initiative concept would benefit Sabah.
“SAPP is also leading the way in asserting that Sabah must regain its ownership of the territorial waters in the South China Sea,” said Yong as he and party members distributed maps showing the area.
Yong said Sabah’s control of its resource-rich territorial waters would mean a prosperous state.
On his candidacy, Yong said his aim is to be a strong voice for Sabahans in Parliament.
“Besides, I’m confident that I’m very conversant in Bahasa Malaysia compared with all the other contenders,” he said to the laughter of the crowd.
Richard acknowledged Kota Kinabalu voters were so united that they elected two DAP YBs — Hiew King Cheu of Luyang and Junz Wong of Likas — who switched parties after winning their seats.
“KK voters know they have been cheated by ‘frog politics’ and they know who they cannot trust now. However, we should maintain this unity to back SAPP,” he said.
The Johor-born Gee said his candidacy was proof that folks from the peninsula or Sarawak living in Sabah are not being alienated.
However, he said Malaysians in Sabah were against Malaya-based political parties that had done nothing as the state’s rights were being eroded.
He said voters here should also be wary of the concept pushed by Malayan parties that only a two-party system is suitable for Sabah.
“The two-party system will bury Sabah rights,” Lim said.
Chong said voters should reject the “sweet promises” by BN candidates who would promise anything just to win.
He said the move for him to use the STAR logo was also appropriate as one of his favourite Chinese songs was “The star knows my heart”.