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Strong start for Yong in Batu Sapi polls campaign

By Luke Rintod of FMT
SANDAKAN: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) appeared to be ahead of PKR in the popularity stakes as official campaigning for the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election began.
Its received a boost yesterday when former Pasok president, Cleftus Mojingol, and a nephew of the late Mustapha Harun, the founder of Usno, joined the state opposition party at a function in Kampung Karamunting here onTuesday evening.
On hand to receive  Cleftus and Razak Abdul Salam was SAPP president, Yong Teck Lee, who is the candidate for the Batu Sapi by-election.
Cleftus, without a party for sometime after helming Pasok for for several years, told FMT he joined SAPP because of the party's resolute stand to regain autonomy for Sabah.
"Tonight I officially joined SAPP to be with the leaders and its members in realising a struggle very close to my heart for so long ever since I was in Pasok," he said.
Mustapha's nephew, Razak also thanked SAPP for accepting his application to join the party.
Both men were cheered by a mostly-Muslim crowd when their names were announced as new members of SAPP.

Shedding Chinese image

SAPP, despite being multi-racial, has long been associated with Chinese leadership. It is now being seen as having shed that tag as more prominent Bumiputera leaders join the party.
Among those present at the function were former Sabah finance minister during the Berjaya era, Mohd Noor Mansur, and former PKR divisional head for Papar, Saidi Lampoh, a well- known local orator.
Earlier in his speech, Yong said those who accused SAPP of being a 'pengacau' or spoiler in the Batu Sapi by-election have made a mistake.
"We are not spoliers. We have calculated the risk and listened to the grassroots before deciding to contest. The polling result on Nov 4 shall vindicate our point," he said.
PKR leaders have been accusing SAPP of splitting the votes by declining to step aside for PKR for a one-on-one fight with the ruling Barisan Nasional.
Yong said while SAPP is ever willing to be friendly with PKR and the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, it is not ready to 'marry' PKR.
"We can be friends, but how can we 'marry' PKR when their family always 'gaduh' (fights). Can we marry into a family that always gaduh (quarrels)?
"Look at what happened at the airport two days ago when they punched one of their own just because of a tussle to be candidate," said Yong.
"Do you think Anwar Ibrahim will respect Sabahans when we behave like this? Do you think Anwar will respect us in future when we fight among ourselves just to get his endorsement?"

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