Straight fights in Sabah in the coming polls

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PETALING JAYA ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim repeated today Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) willingness to give way to local opposition parties in Sabah in order to ensure straight-fights in the coming polls.

The PR de facto leader told a press conference here that this was due to the entry of Barisan Nasional (BN) strongmen into the already crowded opposition front in the east Malaysian state.

“Of course… when it comes to the participation of some of these leaders (ex-BN men), we would have to be prepared (to surrender seats).

“I gave a statement before to say that PKR is prepared to surrender seats for these new PR-friendly supporters… we have also seen willingness on the part of PKR, DAP and PAS,” he said.

“Yes, negotiations have been taking place for some months now so I’ve alerted the leaders of PKR, PAS and DAP, not only with regards to Lajim and Bumburing’s decisions… but also quite a number of other leaders,” Anwar said today.

“There is much progress now because we have PAS, PKR, DAP and now the Lajim and Bumburing factor and some others… so if they are committed to the PR agenda, we can concede some of the seats,” he said, adding that both men are very popular leaders in the Tuaran and Beaufort parliamentary constituencies.

Anwar noted PR’s confidence in winning in a significant number of seats in Sabah in the coming polls but said he would not reveal the pact’s projections as yet.

Federal seats in east Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak are expected to be BN’s focal point come the general election as both states, including the federal territory of Labuan, contribute a significant 57 seats, or 25 per cent of the 222 Parliamentary seats available.

BN’s saving grace was in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan where the coalition trounced the opposition and made a near-clean sweep, winning 55 parliamentary seats to the opposition’s two. – TMI