Tuesday, June 17, 2008


No decision to quit BN, says Raymond
- Musa: NO indication from SAPP to leave
Pairin: PBS strongly supportive of the BN


There is no truth to a rumour that Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is leaving the Barisan Nasional Coalition. And this was yesterday confirmed by its Deputy President, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who strongly denied the rumour, describing it as just “mere speculation”. “It is a speculation. I do not know why the headline today (in a newspaper yesterday) said ‘It’s SAPP’. But I think as far as lam concerned, we have made no decision whatsoever to leave Barisan Nasional,” he said. Tan believes that SAPP is a vocal party, especially in voicing out dissatisfaction over the recent fuel prices hike, but pointed out that the issue also concerns everybody. “It is not us (leaving). This is not a small matter. For now we have no decision to leave the Coalition. The Party started in 1994 to work closely with BN’s struggle, so there is no reason for us to leave. “Yes, we are very vocal but it is for a good reason. We are fighting on a number of issues for the people of Sabah. And we will keep on doing that. But being vocal does not make us Opposition, does not mean that we have to leave BN,” he explained to reporters when met at the launch of the 2nd Chief Executive Officers’ Conference here. He stressed that the Party President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who is also Sabah’s former Chief Minister, wants to make sure that their voices are heard and they want to see results. “We want to see the Federal Government respond to the people’s call. But please, If I could say something. I hope there would be no speculation about us. “I do not know how else can I convince you but I think SAPP is playing a major role and we have been contributing very much to the Government, whether State or at the Federal level. “If people are making speculations to stop us from being vocal, then they are wrong. We are very vocal but definitely (there is) no decision to leave BN. We have been working within BN for a long time, he said. Asked on whether leaving BN is an option for SAPP, Tan responded: “No, as far as I know, that is not something that I and my President have ever considered. And although we are very much focused on quite a big number of issues now, but leaving BN is not one of them.” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman when met said there was no indication that SAPP was leaving the Coalition soon. “Maybe, it is mere speculation... there is no indication, and I have not received any call or confirmation (on the matter) either,” said the State BN Chairman, when was asked to comment on a local daily’s report speculating that SAPP was contemplating to leave BN. On Sunday, Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah hinted that a BN Party from East Malaysia might leave the coalition before the end of the month. Asked whether he (Musa) had contacted SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee over the matter, he said he had yet to call Yong specifically about talk that SAPP is leaving the BN but “acknowledged having met Yong earlier”. “He (Yong) did not tell me anything about SAPP leaving the BN,” he said. asked whether he (Musa) is worried about the latest political development in the State, he said: “I cannot comment now because as far as we are concerned, we have good relations amongst BN Parties in Sabah”. Musa also confirmed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would make a short visit to Sabah tomorrow afternoon, and would meet both State Umno and BN Component Party leaders in the evening. Prior to that, the Prime Minister is scheduled to officiate the closing ceremony of the conference at 4pm today. Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan meanwhile said that the issue was purposely created for the sake of speculations. “Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim once said he could be the next Prime Minister, and that is an example to show that things can be created for speculation’s sake. I believe that since Razaleigh was the one who started it all, he is the rightful person to ask,” said the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President. Asked about PBS’s stand on Razaleigh’s statement, Pairin said: “PBS is strongly supportive of the BN and the Prime Minister. No need to speculate about PBS.” PBS which was formed in 1985, had once pulled out of the Coalition in 1990 and won with a narrow margin in the 1994 state election. The Party however rejoined BN in 2002. Asked whether PBS would consider breaking away from BN if Opposition Pakatan Rakyat could offer better benefits to the people, Pairin responded: “Why want to speculate about new coalition? What new coalition? What new coalition is better compared to the present one?” He said BN is working hard to tackle problems concerning the people and there is no need to talk about a “new coalition” as its existence or who would lead it is unknown. “We do not know whether the leader for this new coalition has experience in running a Government,” he stressed. Touching on the current public grouses on the fuel prices hike, Pairin said it was something beyond the Government’s control. “The recent fuel hike is a global disaster, no one can control fuel prices hike and those who think they can may just have some political agenda. But the Government is doing its level best to tackle the problem they are collecting, compiling and asking around on how better to tackle this problem and ask what else can be done for the rakyat (people). “We must appreciate what is being done and allow the present Government to carry out its responsibility. The Prime Minister and other leaders are working on these things and want to find the best way to tackle the problem. We must understand that it does not happen within the flick of the finger. So instead of pointing fingers, it is best to share ideas with Government on how best to overcome the global problem, and I am sure the Government is willing to listen and probably use it if it is suitable,” he stressed.