KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), known as a vocal critic of previous federal governments over Sabah rights issues, is now a member of Perikatan Nasional (PN).
SAPP said in a statement today that the 196th meeting of its Supreme Council expressed its thanks to PN for admitting the party into the coalition.
“The Supreme Council at its meeting on Aug 9 had decided unanimously to join PN,” it said.
“This is because SAPP can see how the calm and effective leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has brought back harmony and the rule of law in the administration of Malaysia.
“SAPP believes that PN can save Sabah and Malaysia from the Philippine/Sulu claim on Sabah.
“This belief was formed even before the latest political aggravation of the issue by Philippine politicians by way of including the Sabah map in Philippine passports.
“SAPP recognises the explicit policies of the PN federal government to combat the illegal immigrant problem, especially in Sabah.”
The statement was signed by its president Yong Teck Lee and deputy presidents Edward Dagul, Richard Yong We Kong and Japiril Suhaimin.
Apart from that, the party also feels compliance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) can be achieved, as announced by Muhyiddin in March when he unveiled the new Federal Cabinet.
“When the Cabinet was formed, the prime minister entrusted a minister who is from Sabah to be responsible for MA63. This is an important practical step forward for Sabah,” SAPP said.
“After 12 years as an opposition party at the national and state levels, tomorrow will be a new beginning for SAPP and the loyal members who have struggled selflessly for Sabah rights in Malaysia.
“Being a member of PN gives SAPP a sense of obligation to work in partnership with other political parties under the leadership of the prime minister to bring about a more progressive society.”
Muhyiddin is expected to launch PN in the state capital tomorrow, ahead of the state election on Sept 26.
SAPP quit Barisan Nasional in 2008 after it was upset with the coalition’s supposedly sidelining of Sabah over its rights.
In the 13th general election, the party, which decided to go on its own, failed to get the required majority to form the state government.
The party also contested in the last general election but failed to win any seats.