Anwar meets Shafie over seat allocations for Sabah polls

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (left) with Warisan president Shafie Apdal in Kota Kinabalu this morning. (PKR pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Seat negotiations among Pakatan Harapan, Warisan and Upko will be finalised soon, says PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Speaking to reporters, Saifuddin said PKR president Anwar Ibrahim met today with Warisan president Shafie Apdal, who is Sabah caretaker chief minister, to discuss seat allocations.

“The meeting (with Shafie) was also attended by Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew and myself. We are in the final stages of the negotiations.

“A lot of progress has been made. We just have to refine negotiations because we have to take into account areas involving Upko, DAP or Amanah,” he said after attending the Sabah PKR information roadshow, which was attended by Anwar.

The Sabah state election will take place on Sept 26, with nomination day set for Sept 12. A total of 73 seats will be contested, 13 more than in GE14.

Saifuddin said while PKR would contest fewer seats, in principle they would defend seats which they won in the last election.

“I do not want to get into what seats Upko or the rest will contest but if there is an overlap we can discuss it. However, if the seat was won by PKR, that seat will remain under PKR.”

He said they had also spoken to Shafie on seats in which PKR feels it is reasonable for them to contest based on their strength, including the 13 new state seats.

“If in the past we contested eight of the 60 (seats) and now there are 13 more, it is reasonable for PKR to be given the opportunity as in terms of membership, (Sabah) has the second-highest (number of members) after Selangor, with 173,907 members.”

Speaking at the roadshow, Anwar reminded his allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) not to consider PKR as a small party in Sabah.

“PKR was the largest party in PH in Parliament after the last general election (GE14). Do not forget that; do not think we are a small party.”

Anwar added that though PKR may not have done well in Sabah in GE14, the party has grown in strength since then.

In the last election, PKR only won two of the eight state seats they contested, namely Api-Api and Inanam.

Presently, PKR only holds the Api-Api seat after its Inanam assemblyman Kenny Chua defected to support former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman in a bid to topple the state government in July.

Chua has since been sacked by PKR.