Saturday, June 21, 2008


Nothing Personal in No-Confidence move, says Yong

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee reiterated that the move to support a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister was nothing personal.
He said there was a Senatorship offer made through Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, and that if he accepted the post, it would be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“I told him that if PM announced, then it would not be nice for me to accept, so I told him (Musa) there was no need to do so,” he said.
“On June 17, just a day before I made the announcement to support a motion on vote of no-confidence on the PM, I received a confidential letter from the Cabinet Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, but since it is a confidential letter, I cannot reveal its content.
“But PM had already said that it is a nomination letter for a Senatorship post in the Dewan Negara. I then spoke to CM whether the post was offered to shut my mouth and I said it in a body language, and he (Musa) said no.
“But when I received the letter, I was not sure whether it was a bribe … It was a political bribe. Then during a luncheon with the PM, we spoke and I did not say much as I respect the PM’s privacy. I was shocked when he said he could not satisfy my personal greed.
“I never asked for anything from him and in fact, the offer came from CM, I told him that it was unnecessary as it would be seen as shutting my mouth. But if there is a post, then it could be given to one of the eligible SAPP members.
“Again the offer came during our meeting with PM on May 13 where he had said in passing that he had never seen a long for senator, and that they have a role for me. But I felt that it was just a bait, so I stopped there,” explained Yong.
Yong said he had never mentioned anything personal with the PM, adding that they had not even mentioned a thing about the Premier in the Party’s blog.
He also denied claims that Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had offered him a bigger role than Senator.
Yong said that during his meeting with Anwar on two occasions in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, they spoke on problems of Asian renaissance, where they both gave the global view on the issues in Asia today, food crisis and the number of issues attacking Sabah, including the longstanding illegal immigrants issue.
Meanwhile, Yong said he was shocked when a corruption case, which was filed 12 years ago emerged suddenly, and implicating his name.
“I am curious about the timing the Anti Corruption Agency decided to bring the case up in court. I believe I am the target and that is was to serve as a warning to others to back off,” he said.
“The case was brought up 12 years ago, why it is emerging now? Why not last week? ACA had taken my statement about four to five years ago; I cannot remember how many hours I had to spend with them but I was there to give my statement, then suddenly the case emerges,” he said, referring to the case where the court heard that Yong, the then Chief Minister, had ordered payment of over RM5 million profit from the sale of shares belonging to a State-owned company to his selected agents in 1996.
“If this is a threat so that we can compromise our struggles, then it is not right. I am willing to accept anything, this is my struggle for the people and Sabah,” he said.
“If I am wrong, if I am arrested, if I am charged in court, if I am imprisoned, what can I do, but do not use this as a bargaining chip, it is a threat and could jeopardize our political struggle,” he said.