Friday, June 20, 2008


Musa leaves it to Tan to decide on next move


Sabah Barisan Nasional Chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman would leave it to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Deputy President Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah to decide on his next course of action. Asked whether he would advise Tan to join another political party, the Chief Minister replied: “That is entirely up to him.” Musa said Tan had made a clear and good stand when commenting on the SAPP’s move to seek a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister. Tan had said that he was confused and embarrassed by the Party’s move, adding the SAPP Supreme Council had not been consulted over the matter, and believed that the action was carried out arbitrarily by its President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee. Musa, who described Tan as a hardworking Minister, said all the Cabinet Ministers have been working closely together like one big happy family despite coming from different parties under the umbrella of Barisan Nasional. “He (Tan) is my Deputy Chief Minister, so he knows how we work. He is in the Cabinet and he knows what is being done by the Government, and we have been working very well,” he said. “It has been very cordial between us all in the Cabinet. We propose, discuss and decide matters pertaining to the good of the State together. The fact that we come from different parties is no problem. He (Tan) knows, may be Datuk Yong is not in the cabinet, so he does not know what happening.” Musa also said that he often tells his colleagues in the cabinet to do ‘less talking, less politicking, and more work.’ “I believe that is the safest way so that the people will see how committed we are in carrying out the responsibilities mandated to us.” He said.Asked about SAPP’s stand and whether it’s representation in the Government was affected, Musa said: “The central BN had their meeting today, they will make the decision.”


Yong’s no-confidence move irrational: CM


It was irrational for an experienced politician such as Datuk Yong Teck Lee to declare loss of confidence against the Prime Minister, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. He said the issues raised by the Sabah Progressive Party President to support the vote of no confidence on Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi are “invalid”. “The Federal Government has been very helpful to meet Sabah’s needs. And this is also due to the constant communication between the State Government and our Federal counterpart,” Musa told a press conference at Sri Gaya here yesterday. “I have always voiced out the State Government’s needs to the Prime Minister during meetings and the requests would be entertained almost immediately. I do realise that sometimes there is a delay in approval but somehow, it will be approved after some time,” he said. “He gave approval to the request for the 300- megawatt power plant in Kimanis, which would see the collaboration between Petronas and Yayasan Sabah, and the huge allocation from the Federal Government to carry out development projects under the five-year Malaysia Plan and the 18-year holistic Sabah Development Corridor project. “Just recently, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry had approved an additional RM75 million for our agriculture sector in Sabah and there was an additional RM1.8 billion to further improve our supply of clean water and electricity, as well as infrastructure facilities all over the State. This shows that the Federal Government does care and understand our problems.” Musa, who is also the Sabah Barisan Nasional Chairman, also strongly disagreed with Yong’s claims that the ‘window of opportunity’ for Sabah is very limited and soon problems in the State will be forgotten. “What does he (Yong) mean by limited window of opportunity; we have lots of opportunities, and the Country’s top leaders have always listened to our plight” he said. “The Federal Government has abolished the State Federal Development Department (JPPS) and the call for locals to hold important posts in the Federal Government departments and agencies, has also already happened. “Illegal immigrants-related problems have also been raised frequently but we have to understand that it is not an easy issue as it involves other countries, but that does not mean we are not tackling it. “In fact, the High Powered Cabinet Committee on Illegal Immigrants was recently set up to look into the issue, which is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” Musa said. On political autonomy, Musa said: “We (State Cabinet) have been operating on our own, including managing the State funds and administration. And I as the Chief Minister have my powers to manage the State; the Federal Government has never interfered in the State matters.” On the request for additional 15 per cent oil royalty, Musa said they have also made a similar request but it was not approved. “May be if we do not get it this time, we will get it some other time. The 20 per cent oil royalty is good but we have to understand the current situation. “We also understand that the people are suffering due to the fuel prices hike, and as explained by the top leaders many times, the Government is doing its level best to lighten the people’s burden. “But, although additional oil royalty has yet to happen, Sabah is lucky as we have been getting big allocations in terms of development funds from the Federal Government,” he said. Asked whether he thought the five per cent oil royalty is sufficient, Musa said: “I cannot say it is sufficient, but to me, as long as they keep giving us money (allocations), it is good enough. What is more important is for the money to keep coming in for development in Sabah.”


No expulsion for SAPP
BN Supreme Council believes Yong’s statement is not Party’s stand, says Abdullah


The Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council has decided not to expel the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) as it believes the statement by its President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, yesterday was not the stand of the Party, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. “As far as I know, it (Yong’s statement) is not the stand of the Party. The statement came from Yong Teck Lee personally. That’s why we are not taking action against the party,” said the Prime Minister, who is also the BN chairman, at a press conference after an emergency meeting of the BN Supreme Council here yesterday. In Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday, Yong, who is also a former Sabah Chief Minister, said the Party had lost confidence in the Prime Minister and would support a motion on a vote of ‘no confidence’ against Abdullah at the Dewan Rakyat sitting beginning Monday. Abdullah had chaired the BN Supreme Council emergency meeting which lasted more than three hours at Menara Datuk Onn to discuss Yong’s statement. Responding to a question, Abdullah said it was up to SAPP to take whatever action against Yong for his statement. “Whatever decision the Party wants to make concerning the action of its President is up to the Party,” he said. When asked whether the BN would take action against two SAPP MPs, Abdullah said action would only be taken if they make similar statements in the Dewan Rakyat. In his statement, Yong said two SAPP MPs Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) would support the motion of no confidence. “They have not yet made any statements in the Dewan Rakyat. If they had done so, then we can take action because in the House, we have party discipline and the (Government) whip. “We will of course take action if they go against party discipline,” he said, adding that BN had once taken action against a MP from MIC, as well as two BN Assembly members in Penang. To a question, Abdullah stressed that BN was not afraid to take action but wanted to make sure that any decisions made were the right ones. “This is not the question of being afraid or not. The issue is, we need to make the correct decision. We cannot make a hasty decision against a party which have not yet made any decision on the matter. “Otherwise, we will be seen as having taken an action without knowing whether the matter was really a decision made by the Party or only made by its leader. That is important for us to consider. “We have to be correct in wanting to take any kind of action against anybody or against institution or against any component party,” he said. Asked whether a show cause letter would be sent to the Party, Abdullah said, “We have not asked them to show cause because they have not done anything wrong at the moment.” He said yesterday’s meeting was important as it discussed an issue involving the head of a BN component party. He said that BN component parties rejected the statement made by Yong. “It was clear that no one supported him. None of them say the statement (by Yong) is acceptable. All of them expressed their shock and regret over the statement, which is against the BN’s principles,” he said. Abdullah also said the meeting agreed not to issue any warning or advice to component parties or their leaders as they already knew their duties and responsibilities towards the BN and the people.