Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Call for SAPP MPs to resign tricky-analyst


The move of Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters to put up banners at different locations in Tawau two days ago, urging their Member of Parliment Datuk Chua Soon Bui to resign, has turned up the heat on Sabah politics. They say Chua’s decision to support a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is tantamount to a betrayal of the people’s mandate in the recent general election. The banners — which read “Sila letak jawatan kerana telah mengkhianati kepercayaan dan mandat rakyat Tawau pada pilihanraya 2008. Hidup Barisan Nasional” (Please resign for betraying the Tawau people’s trust and mandate in the 2008 election. Long live Barisan Nasional) — were placed in the east coast town of Tawau in protest against Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for supporting such a motion. Over in the west coast of Sabah, particularly in Sepanggar parliamentary constituency, a group of BN supporters made similar outburst albeit in a lighter tone, expressing their regrets over the statements by SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee and their MP Datuk Eric Majimbun, belittling Abdullah’s leadership as Prime Minister and BN Chairman. Local political analyst Lesaya Lopog Sarudim views the protest as a “natural effect” of the political jolt delivered by SAPP but he considers the call to resign as politically tricky. “The voters are asking Chua to resign because of what she said (in support of a motion of no confidence). In my view, both Chua and Eric have not betrayed the people yet because they are still the representative of the people and they are still in BN. “What they are fighting for is actually the rights of the voters who happen to be the people of Sabah. “If they succeed in what they are doing, it is not only the voters of Tawau and Sepanggar that will benefit but the entire voters of Sabah, whether they voted for the BN or the opposition,” he told Bernama here yesterday. On June 18, Chua and Eric issued statements acknowledging their support for a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister. In supporting the call for the motion, the two MPs and SAPP highlighted several issues affecting Sabah, including the request for 20 per cent in oil royalty, the return of Labuan and the immediate solution to the illegal immigrant problems. Both Chua and Eric had said that they were ready to face the music for their declaration of no confidence in the Prime Minister’s leadership. “This is a tricky position for the duo. Moving forward or backward is not an easy way for them. But I think the people should give them a chance,” he said. He said in Sabah, there were many BN component parties with different political platforms and ideologies and it was only natural for them to react in certain way when other component members belittled the leadership. Lesaya said the call by SAPP for a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister showed that there was already a big crack in the State BN coalition. However, he said, BN component parties should find the best way to address the Sabah people’s longstanding grouses without resorting to a hardline stand. “Some people suggested that Sabah BN should call its first meeting and have a regular meeting after that. “This is the first step. We may not be able to solve all the problems but at least this is where we can listen to each other’s views. “At the Parliamentary level, there should be a regular meeting as well... if this happens, then we won’t have problems. “Sabah BN leaders should bring up problems with one voice, loud and clear,” he said adding that even United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) shared SAPP’s views on the issue of illegal immigrants. Bernama