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 Yong: We have made a stand

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PostSubject: Yong: We have made a stand   Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:48 am

Wednesday June 18, 2008 MYT 11:16:46 PM

Yong: We have made a stand
By MUGUNTAN VANAR & RUBEN SARIO


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party is waiting to see if its push for a no-confidence motion against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister will get the political ball rolling.

The unprecedented move by the Barisan Nasional partner to back such a motion was announced on Wednesday by SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who admits that the next 48-hours would be crucial for the party.

In his usual affable self, the 50-year-old former chief minister gave quick and witty responses to questions of how throwing a political card of no-confidence could spark off a movement within Barisan in the peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah.

“As far as the issues facing the people and as a far as our stand is concerned we are not alone. There are many others ... . When they will make a move and declare a stand, that we will see,” he told a packed 90-minute press conference.

“We have made a stand and we will bear the consequences,” said Yong, who revealed that he had met Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on two occasions in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, as well as other Umno and Barisan leaders.

The announcement, which saw immediate mixed reactions from stunned Sabah Barisan colleagues and the opposition, was made at 2pm at the party’s headquarters in Luyang, here, after months of speculation over who would make the first move after the March 8 polls.

“Our MPs will support a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister. Whether the motion will be tabled by our party's MP or another party’s MP will be decided in due course,” he said on the 101st day of Barisan forming the government after garnering 140 of the 222 parliament seats.

Making his stand clear that SAPP still remained in Barisan, Yong said Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun or Tawau MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui could propose the motion.

The signed statements of Eric, the SAPP deputy president who is overseas on an official trip but will be back for Parliament sitting on Monday, and party vice-president Chua were issued to the media surrounded by party members.

Chua, by Yong’s side with the party supreme council standing behind them, said people had lost confidence in the leadership of Abdullah, and even Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and other Umno leaders had asked him to step down.

SAPP’s four assembly representatives - Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan, assistant finance minister Melanie Chai, Au Kam Wah (Elopura) and Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas) - and Deputy Speaker Datuk Frankie Chong were not present at the conference but Yong said that they would be at Friday's supreme council meeting.

Yong, who was confident that all the supreme council members would attend the supreme council meeting, said some people expected SAPP to be sacked from Barisan.

In any case after the March 8 election, he said several Sabah Umno MPs, including the chief minister’s brother Datuk Anifah Aman of Kimanis, Kalabakan's Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh and Papar's Rosnah Mohd Shirlin, had stated that Barisan was not giving due recognition to Sabah.

“Barisan is no more in Sabah; only in form, not in spirit,” he laughed when pressed as to why SAPP was still remaining in the coalition. “A pullout is not something we have not said, we have to study the political implications.”

Stressing that he had nothing personal against Abdullah, Yong said if the vote of no-confidence fails, then SAPP would look for other ways to achieve its objectives.

As to whether joining Pakatan Rakyat was an option, Yong said SAPP would work with whoever shared the party’s vision in solving Sabah issues like oil royalty, the return of Labuan, illegal immigrants and political autonomy.


Anwar is scheduled to be in Sabah on Saturday and the anticipation is that the former deputy prime minister may make an announcement on his claim to have enough MPs to topple the Barisan government
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PostSubject: Re: Yong: We have made a stand   Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:08 am

NST Online » Frontpage
2008/06/18

SAPP to file no-confidence motion against PM, urges him to step down
By : NST NEWS DESK


Yong at the press conference today.
KUALA LUMPUR, WED (Updated: 3:22pm):

SABAH People Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said today the party will file a no-confidence motion in the Dewan Rakyat next week against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, urging the premier also to step down. "We have lost confidence in his leadership," he said while maintaining that SAPP will not pull out of the Barisan Nasional.

Yong said the SAPP MPs Datuk Eric Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) will table the motion on June 23, the day the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes for a three-week meeting.

The SAPP's supreme council will meet on Friday to discuss its membership in the Barisan Nasional. The SAPP won three parliamentary seats in the March 8 general election. The party was registered in 1994 and was accepted into the BN soon after.

According to a statement released in the SAPP's website, the party explained why there were launching the vote of no confidence against Abdullah.

"We must make the stand before the window of opportunity closes by August after which “Sabah would be forgotten again. The nation’s attention would switch to MCA and Umno elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year end events. Political fatigue in the national mainstream over Sabah issues would set in,” the party said. “The momentum to recover Sabah’s autonomy, get 20% oil royalties and return of Labuan would be lost.”

SAPP also claimed that "unfair" federal laws, excessive taxes and structural imbalances in the economy will remain entrenched, entrenching Sabah as the poorest state subservient to the central leadership.

“Labuan bridge, poverty eradication and rural development will remain elusive,” the party said. “Racial politics and wasteful monopolies will continue as usual. The illegal immigrant problems will reach boiling point. Grown up street kids, illicit drugs and crimes will continue to strike fear among the people.

“Police and law enforcement will remain understaffed and under-resourced. In other words, Sabah will lose out badly again. We will not get this window of opportunity for another 50 years, if ever again. In fact, we have now become suspicious of their delaying tactics.”

"This is why we need an immediate declaration of no confidence against the PM to tell the BN Government that we can no longer tolerate their insensitive attitude towards Sabah issues that are real and serious," the pasrty said.

Meanwhile, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in congratulating SAPP for their move, admitted to having two meetings with Yong but did not state whether the vote of confidence was discussed.

“The main issues discussed were good governance and accountability, justice for the people and bumiputeras,” he wrote in his blog Harapan Baru Untuk Malaysia.

However, Anwar pledged that Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu will get 20 per cent oil royalty apart from better Federal representations.

He expressed happiness at the SAPP’s action and called on others to act to ensure political stability and better economic management that will guarantee faster growth and equitable distribution.

MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang, who is also DAP chairman, described the SAPP move as a bombshell but saw little possibility of the motion being tabled and debated on Monday unless there was a "second political tsunami" in the next few days, with waves of support from other BN MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia.

“(Then), this will make it a credible parliamentary move,” he said in his blog Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia. “Whether the SAPP’s motion is tabled and debated, its very announcement has set off political shock waves in the country confirming the longstanding, widespread and deep seated discontent of Sabahans at their unfair treatment by Umno leaders, whether at Federal or State level.”
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