KOTA KINABALU, Aug 16 — Slighted by Warisan in the past, Sabah DAP said today it will instead concentrate on strengthening ties within Pakatan Harapan in the state before mending fences.
The party’s state secretary Ginger Phoong said that it would still be open to working with its previous allies but there have been no attempts at reconciliation for the time being.
"There were a lot of crossfires last year. But our stand has always been clear. We want a united opposition front.
"But any attempt to work together again must be two-way,” said Phoong, who is also Luyang assemblyman during a press conference here.
State committee member Chan Foong Hin said the party also needs to familiarise itself with new PKR leaders following the appointment of Datuk Sangkar Rasam as the new state chief.
"We need to ensure we are on friendly terms with them, before we make amends with Warisan. Another priority is Muda,” he said, adding that they were on better terms with the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, than the latter is with Warisan.
"But we seriously hope we will be able to reconcile and work together for GE15,” he said.
The two party leaders expressed hope despite Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal recently saying that the party would only be willing to work with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) when it comes to Parliamentary seats.
"The question now is not whether we want to work with Warisan or not. Shafie has stated over and over that he wants to work with PBS.
"So the question is not about us, it is Warisan who is pushing DAP away,” said Phoong.
DAP and Warisan in Sabah were allies in the 2018 election but fell out last year as Pakatan Harapan began to cooperate with the new "backdoor” government at a national level by signing the MoU.
Since then, both parties have fired salvos at each other.
Earlier, Phoong and Chan, along with Kepayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang and Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt conducted a walkabout in Foh Sang to distribute leaflets containing information about the recently passed Anti-Hopping Law which is now in the process of being gazetted.
"We feel like this is a victory of our cooperation with the current government, so critics cannot say that it was useless. Party hopping has been a problem for the state, and we too, are one of the victims of this when two of our assemblymen crossed over to another party,” he said.
He was referring to Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong and Sri Tanjong assemblyman Justin Wong who had joined Warisan earlier this year.
He said that he hoped the Sabah State Assembly would adopt the anti-hopping law immediately to prevent it from recurring.