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Yong gets 'rousing' welcome at kampungs

By Luke Rintod of FMT

SANDAKAN: Muslims kampungs in both Sekong and Karamunting, the two state constituencies that make up the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat here gave Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) candidate Yong Teck Lee and his entourage a grand welcome.
Yong received rousing welcome from the Suluks, Ubians, Bajaus and Bugis groups - old and young - in Kg Karamunting, Kg Lupak Meluas, and Bokara, to name a few.

His theme of 'autonomy for Sabah" and "Sabah for Sabahans" alongwith the Barisan Nasional government's failure to bring development to the two areas has resonated with the kampung folk here.

Adding to the local opposition party's fanfare was the arrival of two influential Muslim leaders into SAPP's growing multiracial fold.

Zullifli Pitting, a son of the late Sekong assemblyman Pitting Ali during the Usno era and Abdilah Hamid, a former Lahad Datu MP and former federal deputy minister, announced that they had joined the party.

In a Lupak Meluas squatter colony just behind the MPS Flats near here, where about 300 houses are located, SAPP leaders were warmly welcomed.

Villagers there told FMT that when Umno's Sekong assemblyman, Samsuddin Yahya, visited the BN-Umno markas earlier yesterday, only about 10 people turned up, and he had to leave soon in his car.

"Many times the YB (Samsudin) has promised us decent house and electricity but until now we don't have electricity and water supply ... only house that we built ourselves," said a local man who only identified himself as Jul.

Jul, who has voted in two previous elections, claimed many voting adults in the "setinggan" (squatters) will now vote for SAPP as they have lost trust in the government.

"We also did not approve Umno turning our kampung "madrasah" into markas BN but they just went ahead to do that. This is arrogance and
has turned-off the folk here now," ," he said.

The 300-odd squatter houses were built mostly by the victims of a huge fire that razed their houses in Kg Lupak Meluas along the seashore in

SAPP deputy president Eric Majimbun, who is also MP of Sepanggar, said the warm reception the party received from the kampung people could
translate into votes on polling day on Nov 4.

He also thanked PKR leader, Nahalan Damsal, who is a former Sekong assemblyman, for supporting SAPP and Yong. Many of Nahalan's loyal supporters have also joined SAPP.

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