KOTA KINABALU: Political parties have the right to propose or demand seats they want to contest, said Upko youth chief Felix Joseph Saang.
He said it is their respective party’s right and has become a common practice every time before a general or state election.
Felix said that the demand by the leaders of the Sabah People’s Coalition (GRS) for Upko to stop its demands is very puzzling.
He said he does not understand and finds it strange because Upko is a component party of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and not a component party of any other side.
“Ironically, the GRS component parties themselves have openly stated their intention to contest 73 seats. Why is this statement not criticized by GRS leaders?
“Upko, which is a component party of PH Sabah itself, has never demanded 73 seats as demanded by GRS leaders,” he said in a statement today.
According to him, it is certain that any party has the right to voice their opinions, and GRS leaders should not criticise when UPKO speaks out about the seats they want to contest.
Felix, who is also Beluran Upko chief, said it should be noted that the Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) played a critical role in ensuring that the GRS government did not collapse and was able to survive when there were attempts to overthrow it in the past.
He said they do not need to criticise if there are others expressing their views, and the term ‘big brother’ should no longer be used in today’s political landscape.
“Let’s cultivate a healthy democratic practice, and we should have an open attitude to listen to the views and suggestions of all parties,” he said.
Meanwhile, Felix said he fully supports the proposal of the president of Upko, Datuk Ewon Benedick, that the seat allocation among the cooperating parties in the upcoming state election should be something fresh and new.
He said this is to avoid the ‘culture’ of demanding the same old seats to ensure a fairer distribution of seats among all the component parties cooperating in the upcoming state election.
“The Youth Movement wants UPKO to contest more seats than in the previous state election and to remain united with Pakatan Harapan,” Felix