United Sabah Alliance (USA) has started negotiating seat distribution among its four members and 80 per cent of the State and Parliamentary seats have been sorted out so far.

Its Chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Mansor said the parties will be having a few more meetings soon to work out the rest of the seats.

"Each party knows where their strengths are and which areas they could contest in.

We don't have a lot of problems with regards to seat distribution because unlike Barisan Nasional (BN), we don't have a lot of materials to sign. We sign the documents in our hearts. Nothing is written except for the declaration.

"So whoever wants to come in, we welcome them after discussing among members. Whoever wants to leave, like Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), we wish them good luck."

Lamenting on the many divisions among local political parties in the State, Mohd Noor said USA was formed so that all the local opposition parties can unite under one umbrella, pointing out that this division was engineered by those in the peninsula.

Even Parti Warisan Sabah, he said, may have wanted to join the coalition but perhaps, due to the influence of some people in Malaya, particularly former Premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, they decided to go solo.

Nevertheless, he is confident, as a veteran politician who experienced first-hand the power of the people in Sabah in turning the political tide.

"Once Sabahans made up their minds, there is nothing political parties can do about it. I still remember what happened when Berjaya was formed with only 1,000 members. Yet, because the people rallied behind the party, Usno fell.

"Again, in the 80s, when Berjaya was at the peak of its power and I was the party's Secretary General, I remember very well how strong the party was at the time. But the people had made up their minds and how the mighty Berjaya has fallen.

"This time around, we know what is going on and something is brewing among the voters.

Once they made up their minds, they will do what seems to be impossible and this is what we are banking on," he said.

He also said while the people are calling for straight fights between the opposition and Barisan Nasional (BN) in order to topple the government, the coalition's definition of straight fights is more than merely one party versus another.

For the coalition, he said, it is a fight between ideas, or more aptly, a battle between agendas; the Malaya Agenda versus the Borneo Agenda.

All Malaya-based parties, including the opposition parties, have the same idea, namely to control Sabah and colonise the region.

"Whatever they said, it is still for the good of Malaya to the detriment of Sabah and Sarawak.

Those who collaborate with them, even local parties, are promoting Malayan ideas, no matter what they said.

"We are fighting for the Borneo Agenda which is to restore the rights of Sabah. The people want their own future, they want to control their own resources. They want the rights promised to them during the formation of Malaysia.

"If the people want subjugation, emergency rule, then vote for BN or Malayan parties.

If they want freedom, autonomy, their rights back, vote for Gabungan Sabah," he said.

Any collaboration in the coming election between opposition parties, he said, must rest on the Borneo Agenda and "Sabah for Sabahans" principle.

"We cannot compromise our Sabah for Sabahans strategy," he declared. - Tracy Patrick

Source: Daily Express
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