Sunday, June 22, 2008


RAYMOND NOT QUITTING SAPP – DCM says he will stay even if Party is expelled by BN

Come what may, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Koh will remain loyal to his Party – even if it is expelled.

Tan, who started his political career with SAPP since its inception in 1994, also stressed that he would stick around even if Barisan Nasional decides to expel the Party following its move to proceed in supporting a motion of vote of no-confidence on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership at Monday’s Parliament sitting.
And despite the different opinions between him and Party President Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Tan insists on staying with the Party, especially now during this crucial time.
“We may have different opinions but I do not think that I should be away from the Party; this is the time where the Party would need me. I think I can work with my President despite the differences and I do not have any problem with that,” said Tan, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister.
The 49-year-old politician did not deny speculations of being ‘proposed’ by other BN Component Parties to join them, explaining that: “There have been a lot of speculations on this but I am not going to entertain any request of such nature at the moment. I do not want to see the Party in trouble,” he quipped.
Speaking to reporters at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before catching a flight to Sandakan yesterday afternoon, Tan however hoped that he would be given a chance to present his views, adding that he was disappointed when Yong claimed that the Party’s decision was based on the consensus of all SAPP Supreme council Members.
“During the meeting, I gave a different opinion and anyone who attended the meeting knew the fact that it was not an unanimous decision. It was not a consensus. I just hope our Datuk President would clarify this matter. It was not right to say it was consensus and that other opinions were regarded as personal views.
“I also said during the meeting that I was not going anywhere because I have no decision to pull out from the Party. The Party will proceed with the motion and definitely BN will take action against SAPP, (but) I am not going anywhere. I am willing to accept any decision made by the Coalition,” he said.
Tan also said that during the five-and-a-half-hours meeting, Yong also brought up the Anti-Corruption Agency’s case against him. It was stated in court that when Yong was the Chief Minister, he 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.
“I am puzzled on why the case was brought up now. It was as if the case was purposely mentioned to force our President to drop the move of supporting a motion of no-confidence against the PM, this is not right. Although I am pressing for an opportunity to express my own view, I do not want to see my President, or other members for that matter, be forced when making decisions. I am appealing to them to stop putting such pressure on us.
“I do not have any bad intention. I just want to share my views for the good of the Party. I am asking from the PM not to take any action that would stop people from voicing out their opinions. The action was seen as a threat and is sending us the wrong signals and determining what we should decide on.
“Honestly, I do think that since we want to remain in BN, we should not have pursued with the motion, I have not changed my stand but if my opinion is wrong, if the Party and President think I am wrong, I will accept any decision to be taken against me,” said Tan, in a choking voice as he was overwhelmed by his feelings.
He believes that the decision to support a no-confidence vote against Abdullah was regarded by the Opposition as a support for Pakatan Rakyat de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, adding: “I do not agree with this, but God willing, I will be strong”