Monday, September 29, 2008

Elderly woman’s loss of citizenship upsets Barisan members in Sabah - Star

KOTA KINABALU: Sept 29, 2008

An elderly woman has lost her bumiputra status and her citizenship after the National Registration Department discovered flaws in her original documents.

Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, 78, has now been issued a red identity card meant for permanent residents.

The department’s public relations officer, Janisah Mohd Noor, declined to say what the flaws were.

Yong said she lost her blue identity card when her purse was stolen in May last year.

In Sabah, if either one’s parents is a bumiputra, the children will be accorded bumiputra status.

Janisah said the department had discovered anomalies after scrutinising Yong’s records and a detailed probe was being conducted.

It had been reported that department officials had asked Yong, who holds a native certificate issued in 1963, to apply for citizenship after she was given the red identity card.

On Saturday, Parti Upko deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said the party would review its position in Barisan Nasional if the department failed to rectify its mistake in making Yong a permanent resident.

Bumburing said that taking away the citizenship of bumiputras and forcing them to take permanent resident status displayed incompetence of a department riddled with controversies.

Meanwhile, both Barisan and opposition party officials said the episode was another clear reason why both the state’s National Registration and Immigration departments should be headed by Sabahans.

Parti Bersatu Sabah information chief Johnny Mositun said a Sabahan would be more sensitive to the problems faced by the people in the state.

The Government should look into this issue seriously and rectify any weaknesses to safeguard the interest of Sabahans, said Mositun, who is also the Sabah State Assembly deputy speaker.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SAPP to proceed with no-confidence motion - NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Jul 13, 2008

In an about-turn, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has reiterated its initial stand that it has lost confidence in the prime minister.
Its secretary-general, Datuk Richard Yong, said this in a statement posted on its official website yesterday to clarify news reports that SAPP had dropped its no-confidence motion.

He reiterated that the party would proceed with the proposed motion of no-confidence against the prime minister when the time comes.

But, he added, that it would not be carried out at the moment in order not to fall into the trap of some racialist opportunists, especially in view of the current volatile situation in the country.

He also noted that its MP for Tawau, Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, had at Parliament House yesterday clarified the news reports on her interview on Monday which had been distorted as she had never said SAPP had dropped the proposed motion.
Meanwhile, at the Parliament lobby yesterday, SAPP deputy president Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun said the party was still upholding its position on the matter of a motion of no confidence against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"To be frank, we have not forwarded the motion yet but we may do so in future," he said.

Eric, who is also Sepanggar MP, noted that the party would probably not file the motion at this point of time.

"We have to look at all the scenarios that are happening around us. So, at the moment it may not be suitable (to file the motion)," he said.

When asked about the apparent threats made against him and Chua, Eric remained cautious.

"The threat is in the past, but I cannot say that (it is over). However, I feel safe in Malaysia. This is our country and we should feel safe in our own country."

Two rebel MPs to back motion - Malaysiakini

Jul 13, 2008

Two rebel lawmakers from Abdullah's ruling BN coalition have vowed to back the opposition debate.

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) parliamentarians Eric Enchin Majimbun and Chua Soon Bui have pledged their vote for an opposition motion of no-confidence against Abdullah.

More news at: www.malaysiakini.com

Saturday, July 5, 2008

SAPP ticks off two other BN parties - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jul 5, 2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR

A spat has started between rebellious Sabah Progressive Party and two other Barisan Nasional parties as the party prepares to reply to a show-cause letter.

The SAPP felt it was wrong for two Sabah brethrens to push for its expulsion from Barisan Nasional when all it was doing was fighting for a better future for Sabahans.

The party deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan, who opposes his president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's no confidence move against the Prime Minister, ticked off Parti Bersatu Sabah and Liberal Democratic Party.

Tan, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said that the move by PBS and LDP to allegedly table and second a motion at the Barisan management and supreme council meeting to expel SAPP was wrong.

He claimed that the two components had shown their bias against SAPP even before the party had a chance to explain its views in response to the show-cause letter.

However, both LDP and PBS have denied claims made in new reports that the two parties were pushing for SAPP’s expulsion and asked Tan to check his facts.

PBS president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan denied the report on his party's move to sack SAPP as a "rumour" on an online news portal that was quoted in a national news agency report.

Pairin said that it was a baseless and ridiculous claim that could cause a split in Barisan.

LDP Information Chief Albert Kok Yuk Ken said Tan should have checked his facts before making any statements.

SAPP has been given 30 days from July 1 to reply to a show-cause letter from Barisan after which the ruling coalition will decide on whether to reprimand, suspend or sack the party of two MPs and four assemblymen.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

YONG: Plenty of time to reply to showcause letter - NST

KOTA KINABALU, THURS: Jul 3, 2008

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) had ample time to reply to a show-cause letter from the Barisan Nasional (BN) which it received on Tuesday, said its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

SAPP had 30 days to respond to the letter which was issued on June 30, he said.

He declined to delve on the issue.

The show-cause letter demanded an explanation on three main issues, namely the party’s proposed vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, its statement that there was no guarantee that SAPP would still be in BN after August, and SAPP’s loss of confidence in the Prime Minister.

Last week, BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said SAPP would be given 30 days to reply and defend itself, after which the supreme council would meet again to decide whether to issue the component party a warning, impose a suspension or to expel it from the coalition.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dompok: Give federal royalty to Sabah - NST

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 30, 2008

Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok has suggested that the five per cent royalty the Federal Government receives from Petronas for oil extracted from Sabah be given back to the state.
He said it would be a wise move in response to the persistent call by Sabah leaders for an increase in oil royalty.

"If we want to give Sabah more money, this is the easiest thing to do for now."

He said changing the agreement with Petronas in which Sabah and the Federal Government would each receive a five per cent oil royalty would be a hassle.

Dompok said he agreed with the principle that Sabah should get more money for its oil.
"To Sabahans, that is the right thing to do."

Dompok, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, was speaking after attending a seminar on oil and gas development in Sabah organised by the party's Youth wing.

He said developing the oil and gas industry in Sabah was important and could be the anchor of the Sabah Development Corridor. He added the industry would would provide job opportunities for the people.

He also said the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline project to the Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu would not allow Sabahans to be involved in the industry.

He suggested that the government develop the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis instead.

He said he was made to understand that the gas pipeline project was to be halted but according to reports, Petronas would proceed with the RM390 million project.

"I think the Sabah government should insist that the pipeline be stopped. It is in Sabah's interests to look at the bigger picture."

Dompok said he had spoken to the prime minister and Petronas and was waiting for their response.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Anifah suggests a CM-led task force - The Star

KOTA KINABALU:

A high-level task force headed by the Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman is the best option to solve Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem, said Umno Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman.

He said the Chief Minister must chair the committee as it was the only “constitutional way” forward to resolve the long-standing problem.

“The Deputy Prime Minister could sit in as a patron of such a committee,” said Anifah.

He said a Royal Commission of Inquiry or Parliamentary Select Committee could not constitutionally address the issue.

He said that under the Constitution, immigration matters in Sabah and Sarawak come under the purview of the respective chief ministers.

Anifah’s statements come in the light of arguments by some Sabah leaders who have called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the complex problem.

Some are calling for a Royal Commission to probe claims that foreigners had obtained Malaysian citizenship through the backdoor and that was reflected in an abnormal rise in Sabah’s population.

Among the reasons why they wanted an inquiry was to investigate allegations that MyKads were issued under an alleged government-sponsored project dubbed Project IC that came to light during the Likas polls petition case in 1999.

SAPP to Umno's Anifah: Go independent and lead us - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 27, 2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is calling on Umno Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman to lead an independent group of MPs from Sabah and Sarawak.

MPs representing different parties from the two states can move the process of political change forward, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said in a statement.

Yong said that several MPs from Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia have deliberated on the current political scenario in recent days.

“This is the window of opportunity that SAPP has relentlessly reminded our leaders and people to not let slip by,” he said.

Yong said that Anifah, who is Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman's brother, was brave and farsighted to have stepped forward to identify himself with Sabah and its people the issues raised by SAPP.

Anifah has come forward at a time when some other Sabah Barisan parties have turned their guns to attack SAPP in the name of the “Barisan Spirit”, instead of fighting for the people and their state.

Yong claimed that Anifah has refused to subscribe to divide-and-rule tactics and has come up with a fresh angle to the current struggle of Sabah to regain the autonomy of the State of Sabah (and Sarawak) by re-examining Article 161E(4) of the Constitution concerning immigration to the State.

Article 161 touches on the “Safeguards for the constitutional position of States of Sabah and Sarawak”, including matters of citizenship, the jurisdiction of the High Court in Borneo, religion, language and native rights arising from the “Twenty Points” leading to the Malaysia Agreement of 1963.

Anifah on Wednesday said that the Chief Minister of Sabah should head a high level task force to tackle the illegal immigrant problem, as under Article 161, matters of immigration came under the chief minister's jurisdiction.

Over the last four decades, this special position and autonomy have been gradually eroded, whereby power is increasingly concentrated in the central government and its leadership, he added.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Two Sabah MPs recalled home after 'threats' - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 24, 2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR

The two MPs of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) have been recalled home to Sabah for security reasons, said party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He claimed that the two MPs – Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) – had been threatened by certain quarters over SAPP’s decision to support a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister.

The two MPs, who were in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Parliament meeting which began yesterday, were told to return immediately.

“In view of this disturbing turn of events, SAPP has taken extra precautions for the safety of the MPs by calling them back to the party headquarters for consultations on the next course of action, including the safety of their persons, families and the security of their offices,” Yong said.

Heading home: Majimbum and Dr Chua

He said that ever since SAPP announced the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister on June 18, the SAPP had been advised by “friendly parties not to underestimate the risky consequences and likely threats to SAPP and its leaders.”

“Events in the last 24 hours have taken a disturbing turn. Among others, we have received reports of intimidation and bullying (against us),” he said.

Yong said the two MPs and their aides had received SMS messages and unidentified phone calls implying threats.

Other threats included several illegal banners instigating unspecified actions against Dr Chua appearing overnight in Tawau and a planned demonstration at her office in Tawau scheduled for today.

SAPP had advised Tawau officials to lodge police reports, not to provoke the demonstrators and to take leave from the office until the tension had eased, he said in a statement.

In Kota Kinabalu, Yong claimed that aggressive words touching on racial incitement were used at a Sepanggar Barisan Nasional gathering held at the Umno headquarters on Saturday.

“SAPP truly appreciates and is very encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support for the SAPP’s move on a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister,” he said.

“Our perseverance on this course of action is very much helped in knowing that the people are with us.”

He said Malaysians from peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak have also come forward to support its cause.

“We can feel the pent up frustrations of ordinary Malaysians who want change, a change for the better,” Yong said.

He said SAPP felt overwhelmed with the discussion in the printed media, on the Internet and on blogs, and through e-mail and SMS messages “be it in favour or not of SAPP, that have successfully brought the Sabah issues into the national focus.”

When asked to comment on Yong's statement that Majimbun and Dr Chua had not turned up in Parliament yesterday because they had received death threats, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said “they were making things up”.

“In Malaysia we don’t go to that extent. It’s ridiculous. They must be joking. Who is going to threaten them? Barisan doesn’t do that,” he said

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Upko undecided on no-confidence vote - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 22, 2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR

Upko has not decided on which way to go should a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister come up in Parliament, its deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said.

However, party president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had earlier said the party had "no plans to play hero" during such a vote.

Bumburing said whatever the decision, Upko would participate in any debate should the vote come up.

"We cannot deny that we share Sabah Progressive Party’s views on issues pertaining to the migrant problem.

"We are firm about this and we are unhappy about so called Cabinet Committee to tackle Sabah’s illegal immigrant woes," he said.

Bumburing said a similar committee set up in 2002 had only one meeting.

"It's almost forgotten and now they are talking of the same thing,” he said, adding that a Royal Commission of Inquiry was a better option as it would be able to act on the problem firmly.

Upko has four MPs – party president and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Bumburing who is Tuaran MP, Datuk Dr Marcus Majigoh (Putatan MP) and Datuk Siringan Gubat (Ranau MP).

Meanwhile, Sepanggar Barisan Nasional membes held a protest over their MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun’s support for the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister.

A large number of members from various component parties in the division demonstrated at the Sepanggar Umno office here and said the no-confidence motion did not have the endorsement of the parties in the area.

Among the component parties represented were Umno, Parti Bersatu Sabah, Liberal Democratic Party, MCA and Gerakan.

Those present demanded that Eric respect the Barisan leadership under Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Karambunai Umno assemblyman Datuk Jainab Ahmad, whose constituency is within the Sepanggar parliamentary constituency, slammed Eric and SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee and accused them of trying to break up the national coalition.

"Taking such a step without consulting us shows that they don’t believe in the Barisan spirit and consensus,” Jainab said, adding that as Umno leaders they strongly condemned SAPP’s move of no confidence.

PBS Sepanggar division head Darwi Abdullah called Yong a traitor to the voters and said he should just leave the coalition.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

SAPP may be issued show-cause letter - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Jun 21, 2008

Barisan Nasional is considering issuing a show-cause letter to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) for deciding to go ahead with a move to support a no-confidence vote against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

On Friday, the SAPP supreme council endorsed its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's call to support a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister in Parliament on Monday.

Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor told mstar.com.my that he would discuss this with Abdullah, the coalition's chairman.

"I will ask for Abdullah's views for SAPP to be slapped with a show-cause letter on its decision to go ahead with a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister," he added.

"Barisan is like a family. They (SAPP) are like a son who wants to remain in the family but cannot get along with the father," he said.

Tengku Adnan said he believed the motion would not be tabled on Monday because several procedures must be adhered to first.

"Furthermore, until Sunday, the motion had yet to be filed. If it is accepted, it will have to go through certain procedures and I don't think it will be proposed in Parliament on Monday as claimed by SAPP," he said.

Yong Denies Being Offered DPM's Post

KOTA KINABALU, June 21 (Bernama)

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee has described Umno Youth vice chief Khairy Jamaluddin's inkling of him being offered the deputy prime minister's post as absurd.

"I don't dream of becoming Deputy Prime Minister. Perhaps, because I was loud in voicing out issues affecting Sabah he can say anything, talking like an insane man.

"If not because superb victories of Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN)... BN would have fallen in the last election. So, what's wrong with us asking for little attention.

"Khairy is a young man. He has to learn a lot," Yong said during a meet-the-people function at the Likas multipurpose hall near here Saturday.

Khairy said Friday that Yong's criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was believed due to him being taken in by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's offer.

He said he was made to understand that Yong would be appointed to the number two post in government if Anwar who is former deputy prime minister, became Prime Minister.

Yong said he was not greedy pursuing for posts in government.

"I was offered senatorship and become Special Envoy to Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) but I did not accept it because I saw it as a political bribe so that I stop raising Sabah issues.

"Had I accepted the post... I would have gained but what I am championing are the interests of the Sabah people and state and not for personal sake," he said.

Yong said the attempt by certain parties to use the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to "intimidate" him so that he abandon his fight for the Sabah people was a political threat.

"Even if I were to be imprisoned, many other Sabah leaders can continue the struggle for Sabah people," he said.

Friday, ACA Director-General Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency would investigate the SAPP president in connection with graft totalling RM5 million allegedly occurring when he was Sabah Chief Minister.

On "political autonomy", Yong said Sabah had the right for it to reduce federal government's intervention in state administration.

"Presently... the appointment of the chief minister, ministers even BN candidates are all decided in Kuala Lumpur... everything referred to Kuala Lumpur.

"So, the time has come for Sabah to be given political autonomy so that what was provided under the constitution is decided by the Sabah people themselves," he said.

Speaking to reporters later, Yong said SAPP would undergo a rebranding exercise to strengthen the party including its membership.

"Some people perceive SAPP as a party representing the Chinese. Actually, SAPP is multiracial and this is why we are carrying out rebranding," he said.

He also said SAPP would hold briefing sessions on current issues statewide from Saturday.

Asked whether SAPP would take action on its deputy president, Datuk Raymond Tan, who disagreed with the decision of the party's Supreme Council on moving a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister, Yong said it would not.

‘Sandakan rebellion’ fomenting within SAPP - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 21, 2008

The split emerging from within the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has been dubbed the “Sandakan rebellion” as it is being led by party leaders of the east coast of the state.

Party deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah is the assemblyman for Tanjung Papat which is in Sandakan. With him is party youth chief Au Kam Wah, who is assemblyman of Elopura which is also in Sandakan.

They are expected to secure the support of former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Tham Nyip Shen, an ex-Elopura assemblyman.

“Whatever action I am taking from now is on my own prerogative,” said Tan, who is Deputy Chief Minister and state Infrastructure Development Minister.

He and Au were seen leaving immediately after yesterday’s SAPP supreme council meeting and did not stay for the press conference.

He later told The Star that he was preparing to brief Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman as to what had transpired at the meeting.

Tan said at the meeting, he told members that the party could not proceed with the motion against the Prime Minister after deciding to remain in the ruling coalition.

“How could we move a motion against the very leader of the coalition to which we belong? That is utterly confusing,” he said.

He added that meeting dragged on for hours when the SAPP supreme council members debated at length over the matter.

“There was no consensus on the motion against the Prime Minister. There was a split,” Tan said.

When contacted, Au said he supported Tan’s motion at the supreme council to reject Yong’s no-confidence move.

He however was reluctant to say if he was moving in tangent with Tan in the so-called Sandakan rebellion.

Tan to stay on in SAPP even if party expelled - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 21, 2008 By RUBEN SARIO

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan said he intends to remain in the party even if it is expelled from Barisan Nasional over its no-confidence move against the Prime Minister.

Tan, who is openly opposing SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's no-confidence move, said he felt the party that he joined at its formation in 1994 needed him even more now.

He told reporters here on Saturday that he would not entertain any invitation to join other Barisan Nasional component parties “for now.”

Tan, a Deputy Chief Minister, told reporters at the Kota Kinabalu international airport here before flying before flying back to Sandakan that he was also prepared to face the consequences of opposing Yong over the no-confidence move.

Tan said he was appealing to federal leaders not to take any action against SAPP leaders and members that would be perceived as attempts to threaten them.

He said he was shocked at Yong's disclosure in the midst of the SAPP supreme council meeting on Friday that the Anti Corruption Agency was investigating him for a case dating back some 12 years.

Anwar Offering Yong DPM's Post?

KOTA BAHARU, June 20 (Bernama)

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's declaration that his party has lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is believed due to him being taken in by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's offer.

Umno Youth vice chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he was made to understand that Yong would be appointed to the number two post in government if Anwar was to be Prime Minister.

"I heard loads were offered (to Yong) like the deputy prime minister's post and oil royalties.

"Actually I want to know what was the offer which came individually from Anwar to Yong. Was Yong offered the DPM's job if Anwar becomes PM?. If this is true, it proves it is not a stance based on principles but with conditions because they did meet," he told reporters at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport here Friday.

Earlier, Khairy held a closed-door meeting with 14 Umno Youth heads in Kelantan.

He also criticised the move by Yong and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser who held the meeting in Hong Kong.

"In terms of morality this is wrong because after admitting he had met Anwar and then wanting to support a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, he still not being direct and said not leaving Barisan Nasional (BN). This raises questions.

"Why would they meet in Hong Kong? Afraid of people seeing? This raises a lot of questions. We know the Anwar and Yong history in 1994 which brought down the Sabah government. This is not something new," Khairy said.

The Rembau Member of Parliament said SAPP's move to table a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister also showed the party's inconsistent stance.

This was because, he said, it was inconceivable that BN component parties would want to support the motion of no-confidence against the BN chairman and at the same time wanted to champion the politics brought by the BN.

He said Yong had also been alleged to have used his position as party president to get their support on his stance with regard to the motion.

"I was made to understand most SAPP Supreme Council members disagreed with Yong's stance but he managed to get their approval.

"The question is, will those in SAPP who do not support Yong come forward to make a different stance that is more consistent, namely if they want to continue with the BN, must support the BN chairman? There is no choice for any party in the BN not to support its chairman," he said.

As a member of Parliament also, he said, he would see whether SAPP members of Parliament -- Chua Soon Bui of Tawau who is also the party's deputy president and Datuk Eric Majimbun of Sepanggar -- would table and support the motion.

"I hope the BN chief whip will take proper action if they proceed with the plan," he said.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Senatorship, BIMP-EAGA, Special Rep Political Bribe, Says Yong

KOTA KINABALU, June 20 (Bernama)

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee today admitted he received a letter, offering the post of senator and special envoy to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Yong said he was offered both posts through a letter from the Cabinet Division of the Prime Minister's Department on Tuesday, a day before he declared that the party had lost confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

However, the former chief minister said he regarded the offer as "political bribery" to stop him from voicing out issues related to Sabah.

"The offer was delivered to me through the chief minister. He (the chief minister) said that if I agree, the prime minister would make the announcement.

"I said I'm going to reject it even if the announcement is made... so it won't be nice," he told reporters here.

Yong was asked to comment on a statement by Abdullah yesterday that he had offered the two posts to the SAPP president.

"There is nothing personal but I'm surprise when he (the prime minister) mentioned about personal greed... I've never asked for personal things from the prime minister.

"The senatorship is suggested by the chief minister. I said, fine but I rather not accept it because people would see it as an attempt to shut me up. So it's not true that I had personal greed.

"I also said that if it is true, let other SAPP leaders who are qualified (to be offered the posts)," he said.

He also questioned what he said was the "perfect timing" for a corruption case to surface.

"This is an attempt to cultivate a climate of fear," he told reporters after chairing the SAPP supreme council meeting.

The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) said Friday it was investigating Yong over an alleged bribery case involving RM5 million when he was the chief minister in 1996.

This was following a revelation in the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that Yong had ordered the payment of over RM5 million profit from the sale of shares belonging to a state-owned company to his selected agents in 1996.

Yong said: "In this particular investigation, the ACA had taken my statements four or five years ago. I don't know how many hours I was at the ACA office, don't tell me it has suddenly resurfaced today.

"The timing is perfect," he said.

SAPP supreme council endorses motion - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 20, 2008

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) supreme council has endorsed the decision to support a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Parliament on Monday.

The council, however, did not make any decision on its position in the Barisan Nasional

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the supreme council endorsed the decision after considering all views.

Except for deputy presidents Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun and Likas assemblyman Datuk Liew Teck Chan who are overseas, all supreme council members were present during meeting at the party's headquarters in Luyang.

SAPP Kemuka Undi Tidak Percaya - BN Bergolak

BN: No action against Sapp - Malaysiakini

Barisan Nasional supreme council today resolved not to take action against Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) until it gets an "official statement" from the party for its planned no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yong: SAPP will respond on Friday - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 19, 2008

Datuk Yong Teck Lee said his party will respond in full on Friday to the so-called decision of the Barisan Nasional emergency supreme council meeting in Putrajaya.

“Was the Barisan meeting held to take action against or expel SAPP from Barisan?

“What does Barisan headquarters consider to be the status of SAPP (for it) to be excluded from the meeting?” he said in an SMS when asked for the party’s reaction to the Barisan supreme council's decision.

SAPP, which was not notified of the emergency meeting, will hold its own supreme council meeting on Friday.

UPKO denies Dompok leaving BN - NST

PUTRAJAYA: Jun 19, 2008 By Hamidah Atan

The Pertubuhan Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Bersatu (Upko) yesterday denied that its president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok will leave the Barisan Nasional.

Its secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said Dompok and other Upko leaders would remain loyal to BN chairman and prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"No one in Upko is leaving the BN. We don't have problem with Abdullah or the BN, so, the question of us leaving the coalition does not arise.

"We are now focussing on divisional and branch meetings and we don't have time for such."

SAPP's 14 Points "Sabah Issues"

SAPP’s 14 points submitted to PM
Taken from SAPP's blog


1. Political autonomy should be enhanced so that Sabah can manage its own affairs, including the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor, 9th
Malaysia Plan projects and the civil service.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

2. Respect for and recognition of the State Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister of the day. At times, Sabah representatives bad mouth other
Sabah leaders in front of federal leaders. This has made Sabah look divided and therefore easily manipulated.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

3. Sabah needs increased representation at the national political (Cabinet) and
administrative (civil service) main stream and revival of the Ministry of Special Affairs for Sabah and Sarawak.

Response from the Federal Government? PM announced 2 for civil service. No reply on Minister of Special Affairs.

4. A non-racial approach to national unity and the empowerment of minority groups are also important in nation building to stop the polarization of racial
and religious communities in the country.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

5. There is also a need to clarify once and for all the validity of post-NEP New Economic Policy) policies so that any affirmative action must reach the target groups, irrespective of race, that is the people truly in need of
assistance.

Response from the Federal Government? No clarification to date.

6. The government must embark on an immediate action plan to solve the illegal immigrant situation in Sabah, including the syndicated My Kad and other dubious documents, that has been a source of unhappiness among the people.

Response from the Federal Government? Cabinet Committee merely window dressing.
(Same committee was announced in 2004)


7. The closure of the JPPS (Federal Department of Development) in Sabah. The
reason for JPPS's existence is long gone.

Response from the Federal Government? Closure affirmative, only after more than a decade. 38 local staff not given post.

8. Abolition of the double taxation on oil palm in the form of cooking oil subsidies paid ever since June 2007. This taxation should be refunded to the oil palm planters concerned. On the other hand, Sabah does not benefit from the other rice-producing regions in the country. In fact, we pay more for the rice that we consume in Sabah.

Response from the Federal Government? A new tax of 7.5% will be imposed on CPO millers in Sabah and Sarawak and 15% from Peninsular Malaysia. Questionable Windfall Profit Levy.

9. To address the higher freight charges, exorbitant air fares, increasing costs of living, inefficient internet broad band services, electric power break downs, bureaucratic red tape and a host of other entrenched interests (BERNAS monopoly, proton car prices, newspaper prices, KLIA-spoke and wheel policy (against an open air policy), etc..) have staked up against a State like Sabah.

Response from the Federal Government? No action.

10. Federal negligence, the abrupt way that the Money Lenders Act 1951 (Act 400) was extended to Sabah on 1 January 2008. No mechanism was put in place to administer the new law. This has caused much confusion, financial losses and potential legal disputes in Sabah. How can this be allowed to happen in the first place? How can the Sabah Money Lenders Ordinance 1901 (Sabah Cap 81) be brushed aside just like that? Where is the hurry to displace an already established administration of the Sabah Money Lenders Ordinance that has worked well for a century? Now, Sabah is left to bear the consequent losses.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

11. Proposal to make legally binding (on the Federal Treasury) the compensation of loss of revenues due to Sabah under the Part V of the 10th Schedule of the
Federal Constitution (Additional Sources of Revenue Assigned to Borneo States).
This relates to import duty and excise duty on petroleum products in Sabah and Sarawak. Parliamentary amendments (necessitated by the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA)pact) to the Sales Tax Act 1972 in 1999 had caused Sabah and Sarawak to lose this revenue which amounted to about RM 200 million per annum per state.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

12. The Special Status of the High Courts in Sabah and Sarawak under Article 121 of the Federal Constitution must be borne in mind too. The amendments to the Sabah Advocates Ordinance 1953 proposed by the Sabah Law Association has been long overdue to be made into federal law. This is so that the Legal Profession Act need not be extended to Sabah (and Sarawak).

Response from the Federal Government? None.

13. Proposal that Petronas money should be used to build the Labuan bridge
because Labuan needs a bridge to the main land.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

14. To seek an increase of oil royalties to 20%.

Response from the Federal Government? None.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SAPP MPs to move no-confidence vote - Press Coference

Musa Regrets SAPP's Support For A Vote Of No Confidence On PM

KOTA KINABALU, June 18 (Bernama)

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has expressed disappointment over the declaration by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee that his party's members of parliament will support a no-confidence vote on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"I'm not sure what is SAPP's real motive in making such a move," he said in a statement.

"As a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party president, Yong's act was uncalled for and unprecedented in the spirit of camaraderie adopted by BN all this while."

Musa, who is Sabah BN chairman, was commenting on the declaration by Yong today that his party had lost confidence in Abdullah.

Yong claimed that the party's two members of parliament (Sepanggar and Tawau) would support a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister in the coming Parliament sitting on Monday.

Yong, a former Sabah Chief Minister, said Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun, who is now overseas on official duty, had made his stand in a signed press statement, while Tawau MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, also took a similar position in a signed statement.

SAPP Hints Coalition Of Independent Reps

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama)

Sabah Progessive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who on Wednesday declared in Kota Kinabalu that his party had lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has hinted the possibility of several elected representatives from Sabah abandoning Barisan Nasional (BN) to serve as independent elected representatives.

The former Sabah chief minister also ruled out the possibility of these "independent MPs" and state assemblymen joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)-led Pakatan Rakyat should they decide to quit the ruling coalition.

Yong, who has been critical of Abdullah's political decisions on Sabah and what he described as "unpopular" measures pertaining to fuel price hikes and illegal immigrants' issues in the state, said they were not keen to cross over to a peninsula-based opposition party.

"We don't want that. What we want is if there is any political party in the state, it should be a Sabah-based party, looking after the affairs in the state and its people," he said in an interview with Bernama in Kota Kinabalu recently.

"We don't foresee ourselves joining any other peninsula-based opposition party if we ever decide to dump BN. Maybe only in terms of a loose coalition (with a peninsula-based opposition party)," he added.

He, however, declined to say whether SAPP itself would leave the BN.

"Let's wait and see," said Yong, who declared in Kota Kinabalu that the party's two members of parliament (Sepanggar and Tawau) would support a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister in the coming Parliament sitting on Monday.

Several SAPP leaders, when met, indicated that several state politicians from other parties had shown interest in joining the "coalition of independent representatives".

"It's not just SAPP only. It will be a bigger coalition of independent members of parliament and assemblymen, at least until the next general election," said one leader who declined to identified.

It is learnt that about 10 to 18 Sabah MPs and assemblymen would announce their decision to quit BN and jump-start the "independents" pack" in a matter of days.

"Just watch out for this Saturday. It could be another political tsunami," an aide to the SAPP chief said.

Meanwhile, a political observer said several MPs from Sabah could announce their stance in the BN after the SAPP holds its emergency supreme council meeting this Friday.

PM Says Teck Lee Acted Out Of Personal Greed

PUTRAJAYA, June 18 (Bernama)

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's latest action has been due to the fact that "I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed."

Abdullah did not elaborate. However, his aides told Bernama that the prime minister would elaborate at a later date.

Yong declared in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday that his party had lost confidence in Abdullah.

Of late, the former Sabah chief minister has been critical of Abdullah's political decisions on Sabah as well as the move to increase fuel prices.

SAPP declares loss of confidence in PM Abdullah - The Sun

KOTA KINABALU (June 18, 2008)

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee today declared that his party had lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, further fuelling speculation that the Chinese-based party will leave the ruling front on Friday (June 20).

He claimed that the party's two Members of Parliament (Sepanggar and Tawau) would support a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister in the coming Parliament sitting on Monday (June 23).

Whether the motion will be tabled by the two MPs or another MP will be decided in due course, the party said in a statement.

Yong, who was a former Sabah Chief Minister, said party deputy president, Sepanggar MP Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun, who is now overseas on official duty, had made his stand in a signed press statement, while Tawau MP Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, who is a party vice-president, will also take a similar position in a signed statement.

"Whether the motion will be tabled by our MPs or another MP will be decided in due course," he told a press conference.

Bernama quoted Yong as saying Eric is expected to return to Malaysia in time for the Parliament session on June 23.

SAPP is one of the 14 components of the Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition in the federal government.

Chua, who was present in the press conference, said in her statement that SAPP is of the opinion that if the top leadership cannot perform, then he should make way for other able leader to take over.

"People have lost confidence in the present leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Even Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and other Umno leaders have asked their own president to step down," she said.

She added that no concrete actions had been taken despite repeated requests made by SAPP to the PM on illegal immigrants. "Our sovereignty is threatened."

She said the people, especially in Sabah, "the poorest state", are burdened by the sharp fuel price hikes, and there are no holistic economic solutions planned.

"We would fail in our role as elected representatives if the issues raised by the Sabah people on poor delivery systems, corruption, wastage of resources, lack of transparency and no sense of accountability were ignored. These issues have been similarly expressed by my MP colleagues from Umno, Datuk Ghapur (Salleh), Datuk Anifah (Aman) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar."

According to a statement posted on SAPP's official website under "breaking news" today, SAPP is calling a press conference after its supreme council meeting on Friday (June 20) to address the question of the party's membership in the BN.

On why it is making this stand now, the statement said it was because there is a window of opportunity which closes by August after which Sabah would be "forgotten" again.

"The nation's attention would switch to MCA and Umno elections, people will be pre-occupied with the fasting month, Hari Raya, school exams and year end events. Political fatigue in the national mainstream over Sabah issues would set in."

The food and energy crises have compounded the problems faced by Sabah and made its claim for a 20% oil royalty a more urgent one, so that she could "insulate" themselves from the effects of rising oil prices. The federal government had said no to this request.

In the 2008 polls, Umno won 13 parliament and 36 state seats, MCA (one state), PBS (three parliament, 11 state), Upko (four parliament and four state), PBRS (one parliament, one state), LDP (one parliament, three state). DAP has one parliament and a state seat.

Key facts on Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)

> Registered on Jan 21, 1994, and founded by Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee after resigning from the ruling Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) on Jan 20 also as deputy president of PBS as well as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Industrial Development in the state cabinet.

> It contested in state elections, only weeks after its formation.

> Under BN's Chief Minister rotation system, Yong was made chief minister in 1996 for two years.

> It currently has two MPs and four state assemblymen, namely Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas), Melanie Chia Chui Ket (Luyang), Au Kam Wah (Elopura) and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (Tanjong Papat).

Reactions:

Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim congratulated the firm bravery of SAPP and its two MPs for defending the rights of Malaysians, and especially those of Sabahans.

He said he had two discussions with Datuk Yong Teck Lee on good governance and dedication to the principles of accountability.

He said PKR's commitment to Sabahans, bumiputra and otherwise, include 20% oil royalties to Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu, as well as proportionate and just representation for Sabah and Sarawak.

"I call upon other friends to act quickly in order to guarantee stable politics and efficient economic management that will lead to dynamic growth and equitable distribution."

> MCA president and Kulai MP Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said his party will stand steadfastly with Abdullah and the coalition.

"The Malaysian economy is suffering from escalating inflationary pressures, rising food and fuel prices now. The country and the people of Malaysia are going through very challenging times. What the country needs now is political and economic stability.

"It would be best that all of us, both the BN and the PR, accept the results of the 12th general election. Our priority should be to continue to work hard to fulfil our election pledges, restore confidence and stability for the nation."

> MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the party, with about 630,000 members, will remain loyal with BN and continue to support the prime minister.

He has instructed the three MIC members of parliament to support the prime minister, especially in parliament. This is the first time we have a BN component party not supporting the prime minister. We will not let the prime minister down because he was elected by the people."

> Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he found it "unusual" for SAPP to support or move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister and yet still remain in the BN. He added that their move would have been more effective if they were to leave the coalition.

REACTION to Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee's statement yesterday that his party had lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and that the party's two MPs would support a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister when the Dewan Rakyat resumes sitting on Monday:

> Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim congratulated the bravery of SAPP and its two MPs for defending the rights of Malaysians, and especially those of Sabahans.

He said he had two discussions with Datuk Yong Teck Lee on good governance and dedication to the principles of accountability.

He said PKR's commitment to Sabahans, bumiputra and otherwise, include 20% oil royalties to Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu, as well as proportionate and just representation for Sabah and Sarawak.

"I call upon other friends to act quickly in order to guarantee stable politics and efficient economic management that will lead to dynamic growth and equitable distribution," Anwar said.

> MCA president and MP for Kulai Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said his party will stand steadfastly with Abdullah and the coalition

"The economy is suffering from escalating inflationary pressures, rising food and fuel prices now. The country and the people are going through very challenging times. What the country needs now is political and economic stability," he said.

"It would be best that all of us, both the BN and the PR, accept the results of the 12th general election. Our priority should be to continue to work hard to fulfill our election pledges, restore confidence and stability for the nation."

> MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the party, with about 630,000 members, will remain loyal with BN and continue to support the prime minister.

He has instructed the three MIC members of parliament to support the prime minister especially in parliament. This is the first time we have a BN component party not supporting the prime minister. We will not let the prime minister down because he was elected by the people."

> Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he found it "unusual" for SAPP to support or move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and yet still remain in the BN. He said their move would have been more effective if they were to leave the coalition.

No provision for no-faith motion

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)'s bid to be make history by supporting a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday (June 23) when the Dewan Rakyat resumes meeting, may not happen as planned.

The Parliamentary Standing Orders do not have special provision for a no-confidence motion, and as such it needs to be tabled as an ordinary motion under Standing Order 27, which requires 14 days notice.

Veteran MP and former parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) said he saw little possibility of this motion being tabled on Monday.

"The only way for a no-confidence motion to be tabled and debated on Monday is for the Speaker to treat it as a substantive and extraordinary motion which should take precedence and priority over all parliamentary business which does not need to comply with the requisite 14-day notice and publishing it as the first item of parliamentary business after Question Time in the Parliamentary Order of Business on Monday," he said in a statement today.

"In doing so, however, the Speaker is likely to be in direct loggerheads with the government of the day and must be prepared to pay the consequences of such a decision."

Lim said there had never been any no-confidence motion against the prime minister in Malaysian parliamentary history.

SAPP Full Press Statement - June 18, 2008


Click to enlarge

Sapp MPs to move no-confidence vote - Malaysiakini

Jun 18, 08 10:44am

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) today announced that it would move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when Parliament resumes on Monday.

It is the first time in the history of the nation that a vote of no-confidence is to be moved against a prime minister.

"In the coming sitting of the Parliament session starting Monday, June 23, our MPs will support a vote of no confidence on the PM.

"Whether the motion will be tabled by our party MP or another MP will be decided in due course," said a press statement released today.

Sapp has two parliamentarians - Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) and Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) - and four state assemblypersons.


More at: www.malaysiakini.com

SAPP Poll as at June 18, 2008

Question:

What do you think SAPP should do?

Stay on with BN - 2%

Leave BN and Non-Align - 11%

Leave BN and join Pakatan Rakyat - 85%

Total vote todate: 2833 now 5945

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SAPP denies quit BN rumour - NST

KOTA KINABALU: Jun 17, 2008

A senior Sabah Progressive Party leader has dismissed reports that the party is on the verge of leaving the Barisan Nasional.

SAPP deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said the party had no intention of ditching the coalition which it joined in 1994.

"No, it (leaving the BN) is absolutely not true," he told reporters here.

He said the speculation could have come about because of the party's vocal stance on various issues affecting the state.

"Despite the speculation, we will continue to be vocal when it comes to matters concerning the state and its people," said Tan, who is the deputy chief minister representing the Chinese.

Tan said the federal government had taken steps to address some of the issues raised by the party.

Talk about SAPP leaving the BN began circulating following a recent statement by its president, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, that the party would review its position in the BN if no action was taken on the issues it had raised.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he had spoken to Yong, who did not mention anything about SAPP quitting the BN.

"There is no reason for any of the component parties in Sabah to leave the coalition," he said.

Musa, who is state BN and Umno chief, considered the reports as just speculation. Yong could not be contacted.

Several SAPP supreme council members gave differing statements, with some saying that the possibility of the party pulling out of the BN could not be ruled out. Others said there was no truth to it.

"Anything is possible. Let us just wait and see," said a supreme council member.

Another supreme council member said the party was monitoring developments in Umno before making any decision.

BN big guns head for Sabah - The Sun

PETALING JAYA (June 17, 2008): By Kong See Hoh

Several Barisan Nasional (BN) top guns, including Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, are in Sabah to pre-empt a domino effect in case a component party quits the coalition as rumoured.

Word that three, and not just one, as hinted by Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, BN component parties from the state may abandon ship have the BN leaders making a beeline for the Land Below the Wind to prevent a shift in political landscape.

According to a report in Oriental Daily News today, aside from the Datuk Yong Teck Lee-led Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), speculation is rife that Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), which is headed by Kadazandusun paramount leader Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitinggan, and Tan Sri Bernard Dompok's Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation) may also leave the coalition.

Upko has four MPs, whereas PBS and SAPP have three and two MPs respectively.

BN controls all 25 parliamentary seats in the state except Kota Kinabalu which went to DAP in the March 8 general election.

If the three parties indeed leave the coalition but opt not to join the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), BN will still have 131 MPs (49 more than PR's) and not under any threat of being toppled, but such a development will serve to boost the Opposition's morale at the crucial time and allow PR to up the ante against BN.

A Sabah Umno man told the daily that Sabahans know the rules of the game well as far as party-hopping is concern.

"(In Sabah) You've to try your best to be both the 'peg' and the 'hole' and you don't rule out any possibility."

Apart from the rumoured rendezvous with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Hongkong and the Philippines, some leaders of Sabah BN component parties are said to have met Tengku Razaleigh, who is eying the Umno No. 1 post, for possible cooperation should the Umno veteran win in the party election.

Anwar, being the one-time Umno leader tasked with Sabah affairs, knows the in and out of Sabah politics, and with the help of PKR state chief, he can create a political storm in the state. The BN top leadership is trying its best to keep the situation under control.

Apart from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who flew into the state today, Khairy Jamaluddin (Umno youth vice-chief) has been in Kota Kinabalu for the past days, and Tengku Adnan (BN secretary-general) arrived in the state on Monday.

Also in the state are Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib and Nor Mohamed (second finance minister).

The report said Nor Mohamed posed the sensitive question of party-hopping during his meeting with Pairin on Sunday but did not get a reply.

It is understood that Sabah parties are asking for the 5% oil royalty to be increased to 20% and want a solution to the problem of illegal immigrants in the state.

Sources told the daily that although several BN component parties in the state are considering quitting the coalition, they have no intention of joining PR yet.

This is seen as a tactical move to keep their bargaining power.

But this will no doubt lend credence to PR's plan to take control of the federal government by Sept 16, or Malaysia Day.

A poll being carried out by SAPP (http://sapphq.blogspot.com) showed 42% of the respondents believe the party should leave the BN, 47% say it should join PR and only 9% want it to remain with the coalition.

The report said the three parties have different reasons for wanting to leave the BN – from grudges with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to 'sibling' rivalry.

It is understood that SAPP was not happy that it was not given the Kota Kinabalu seat to contest, and Yong felt he was denied the chance to contest the election as a result.

Rubbing salt to his wound was the fact that after the election the Liberal Democratic Party's only MP, party president Datuk V.K. Liew, was named deputy minister of international trade and industry, when his SAPP, which has two MPs, did not get any post.

Upko's Dompok cannot see eye to eye with the federal government on certain religious issues.

There is also talk that Dompok is also not happy that he was given only the post of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department whereas PBS No. 2 Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili is holding the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister's post.

It is also an open secret that Dompok is not on good terms with Musa.

On the other hand, PBS has made no secrets of its anti-illegal immigrant sentiments and its resentment that the federal government is not doing very much to overcome the problem.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Yusof creates Sabah history - NST

Yusof Sarangit spent most of his career in the Foreign Ministry.

KOTA KINABALU: June 3, 2008

Yusof Sarangit has become the first Sabahan to be appointed Sabah's federal financial officer.

Over the years, the Jusa C grade post was filled by federal officers from outside the state, much to the chagrin of locals.

So, when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Yusof's appointment recently, it was met with applause by Sabahans who saw it as a symbolic gesture to mark their harvest festival, Tadau Kaamatan.

"My appointment means a lot to federal officers from Sabah as it shows the government recognises their ability and the heavy responsibility which comes with the job.

"I believe this will encourage more Sabahans to join the federal civil service. This will contribute positively towards national unity," he said here yesterday.

Yusof, 48, from Kampung Segangan in Lahad Datu, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Universiti Malaya.

"I am thankful to Allah for the promotion and appointment as Sabah Federal Financial Officer. My thanks are also to the prime minister and government for trusting me with this responsibility."

Yusof said his appointment showed the prime minister was sensitive and committed to resolving issues faced by Sabahans.

He promised to carry out his duties fairly, transparently and to the best of his ability, aimed at bringing development to the state.

Yusof began his civil service career as a geologist and went on to the Foreign Ministry with a string of postings, including to Nigeria and Japan.

His last post was deputy federal state secretary from 2006 till last month. - Bernama

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sabah to reap whole lot of benefits from Federal Government

The Star - June 1 ,2008 By MUGUNTAN VANAR, RUBEN SARIO and TEH ENG HOCK

KOTA KINABALU:

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kicked off his two-day visit to Sabah with good news to the people of the state.

The Prime Minister’s “Kaamatan gift” covered a range of areas, many of which are seen by the people in the state as urgently needed to solve the problems they face.


Little dancers: Abdullah, his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman (third from right), Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah (second from right) and wife Toh Puan Dayang Masuyah Jaapar (right) being greeted by little dancers during the Kaamatan Open House in Kota Kinabalu last night.

He made the announcement during a press conference after meeting with Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders and civil servants yesterday.

Abdullah said many of the issues were raised during his visit to the state on April 7.

“We, in the Federal Government, have considered the request made and are acting upon it,” he said, adding that they needed to act on them step by step.

Among the most significant is abolishing the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPSS) which had come under a lot of criticism. The Sabah State Development Office will take its place.

The five division development offices in Tawau, Sandakan, Kudat, Beaufort/Keningau and Kota Belud would be abolished.

The move resulted in the abolishment of 207 positions and the staff of the JPSS would be placed in the Sabah District Offices and their emolument of RM1.69mil would be paid by the Federal Government.

With the abolishment of the JPPS, federal funding for agencies like the Public Works Department and Health Department would go through the local development offices.

Abdullah said Sabah would enjoy a RM1bil special allocation for rural development.

A new formula to distribute the allocation would be used. The new formula would give 35% weightage to population, 35% to district area and 30% to the development or poverty rate.

Although Sabah received the second highest allocation of RM18.46bil under the 9th Malaysia Plan, Abdullah said the state needed more funds and this would be rectified under the mid-term review of the 9th Malaysia Plan.

A review of the implementation mechanism would also be carried out.

Other benefits include the direct channelling of development allocation of 11 ministries, namely the Prime Minister’s Department; Finance; Works; Rural Development; Health; Education; Housing and Local Government; Tourism; Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage; Youth and Sports and Home Affairs.

A panel co-chaired by the Sabah state secretary and Sabah federal secretary had been formed to identify and streamline overlapping roles in state and federal departments.

The Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department would also review development projects together with the Sabah and Sarawak state economic planning units before approving and implementing them.

Abdullah said a high-powered Cabinet committee under Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be set up to tackle Sabah’s long standing illegal immigrant and refugee problem.

He added that the National Security Council had increased the number of detention centres in the state from three to five, with the new centres in Papar and Sandakan.

The Government pledged to continue to reduce the hardcore poverty level to 2.8% by 2010.

A focus group on poverty had been set up for “poverty mapping” and to monitor and coordinate the implementation of poverty eradication programmes.

Abdullah also made several other announcements. He said Prof Datuk Kamarulzaman Ampong would become the first Sabahan vice chancellor effective June 18 while Yusof Saringit, also a Sabahan, would become federal Chief Financial Officer for the state.

He added that Petronas would set up a 300MW-gas powered plant in Kimanis and also come out with a master plan to set up downstream petroleum industry in Sabah.

An additional RM400,000 allocation would be given to each state constituency for rural projects, he added.

He also said the implementation of a 40% import duty on chicken parts for Sabah and Sarawak would be deferred to Aug 31.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Call the Philippines' bluff on Sabah claim - NST

May 30, 2008 By JOHN TEO

Nur Misuari has broached the idea of referring the Sabah dispute to the International Court of Justice.

THE International Court of Justice's split decision in the case of Pedra Branca has established a clear precedent regarding sovereignty over disputed territories, in the two recent cases wherein Malaysia referred disputes to the court.

In an echo of the decision to award Sipadan and Ligitan off Sabah to Malaysia when sovereignty over the islands was disputed by Indonesia, the ICJ awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore over an indisputable premise: the island republic has maintained and operated a lighthouse there over many years. This despite clear documentary evidence that ownership of the island had originally belonged with Johor.

The case already has some regional ramifications. Nur Misuari, the disgraced former governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, the Philippines, recently reprieved from incarceration by President Gloria Arroyo, lost little time in pronouncing an intention to refer the question of Sabah to the ICJ.

Misuari is, of course, merely posturing in hopes of making a political comeback. Threatening a revival of the Sabah claim is every populist Filipino politician's way to rouse the masses, usually accompanied by attempts to whip up popular sentiment over alleged instances of mistreatment of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in Sabah.

Raising the Sabah bogey is also the weapon of choice for Philippine politicians whenever they have a particular axe to grind against Malaysia. And Misuari clearly has a personal grudge against us -- he had fled to our shores in hopes of escaping the long arm of Philippine law only to have the Malaysian government send him back home.

Whatever his personal agenda, Misuari broaching the idea of referring the Sabah dispute to the ICJ is obviously a non-starter, as any ICJ referral must first meet with the mutual consent of both disputant countries.

That said, the precedent set by the Sipadan and Ligitan and Pedra Branca cases should actually embolden Malaysia to heartily welcome any official Philippine proposal to refer the Sabah claim to the ICJ for final resolution once and for all.

While the Philippines may have a leg to stand on based on the proprietary rights of the heirs of the Sulu sultanate over Sabah, Malaysian sovereignty over Sabah is an altogether different matter entirely.

Sabah will have been 45 years independent within Malaysia this September, and is internationally recognised as a constituent state of the Malaysian federation. It was under British colonial rule before that and hardly any of us living today can recall a time when the Sulu sultanate exercised any political influence, much less control, over it. The ICJ will have an easy time deciding for Malaysia, if you ask me.

Political posturing out of the Philippines over Sabah is only a minor nuisance to us, and has not prevented both our countries from developing otherwise good neighbourly relations. We can easily live with the prevailing status quo because, if anything, the Sabah claim will only further weaken over time.

But if Arroyo is actually casting about for something appropriately statesman-like with which to end her presidency in two years' time, she might want to consider bringing closure to the wound afflicting our bilateral relations since her father initiated the Sabah claim when he was president, at the time of Malaysia's formation.

The avenue of impartial arbitration offered by the ICJ provides perfect political cover from any accusation of a national sell-out were the Philippines to initiate unilateral steps to drop the claim -- a fraught political process even if attempted.

Three of the five original member countries of Asean have now shown enough maturity to submit their territorial disputes to the ICJ.

The Sabah claim is, of course, in a league of its own, but if Malaysia and the Philippines can agree to also take this route to finally resolve it, Asean would really be leading the world in the peaceful resolution of such disputes between nations by adhering to the norms of established international law.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Call for ICJ arbitration dismissed - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: May 29, 2008

Sabah has dismissed Moro leader Nur Misuari's call for the Philippines to take its claim on Sabah to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a non-issue.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman made the statement in reaction to the call. He declined further comment.

State leaders have repeatedly stated in the past that Sabah was an integral part of the Federation of Malaysia.

Nur Misuari, a former rebel leader and governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, was recently released on bail for charges of rebellion, and has returned to lead the Moro National Liberation Front.

In Davao in the Philippines on Sunday, he challenged Malaysia to show proof that Sabah belonged to the federation.

Nur Misuari was arrested in Sandakan on Nov 24, 2001 for alleged illegal entry when he was fleeing from Philippines forces and was later handed over to Manila in January 2002.

On the protracted migrant problem in Sabah, Musa said the authorities were finding it difficult to deport Filipinos because of the lack of cooperation of their embassy.

Truth sought on Project IC - The Star

KOTA KINABALU: May 29, 2008

In just six years from 2002, Sabah’s population grew a whopping 12% and a Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants is no substitute for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to address this issue, said Upko’s secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau.

“Upko’s call for a Royal Commission is actually to address a very specific issue and that is to determine the truth behind Project IC which is the mother of all illegal immigrants-related problems in Sabah.

“A Royal Commission of Inquiry is no longer an option but a necessity if the Government is serious about putting things right,” he said yesterday.

The Prime Minister’s Department in a written reply to a question from Sepangar MP Datuk Eric Majimbun had disclosed that between 2002 and 2008, Sabah’s population had jumped by 12% or 333,500, from 2.73 million to to 3.06 million people.

“One cannot help but attribute the extraordinary increase in the population of Sabah to the existence of the so-called Project IC. There is no other credible explanation,” he said.

He also asked why no action had been taken on police reports concerning Project IC.

The former Tuaran MP also called on the Government to investigate claims by former ISA detainee Hassnar Ibrahim who, during the Likas election petition trial, testified that he was directly involved in a government-sanctioned project to award identity cards to foreigners in Sabah to tip the demographic balance in the state.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yong: It's time for action - NST

KOTA KINABALU: May 27, 2008 By Julia Chan

The government should not be distracted by the debate over whether it was better to have a royal commission or select committee to deal with the illegal immigrant issue.

Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said action was needed urgently as ensuring the sovereignty of the country and security of the people was the government's duties.

"The government must not fail to defend the country's borders and protect citizens against huge numbers of illegals immigrants."

Yong said the government should show firm political will and bring in the military, as well as setting up a consulate in Davao, Zamboanga and invite the Philippines to set up a consulate in Sabah.

"Malaysia should use its leverage in international bodies like Asean and the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) to get the Philippines government to co-operate.

"Malaysia can also suspend the Zamboanga-Sandakan ferry, impose a bond on visitors, require ferry passengers to possess return tickets and step up enforcement at all levels."

Politicians have been debating over whether to have a parliamentary select committee or royal commission to deal with the illegal immigrant issue.

Yong is in favour of a royal commission.

He said a select committee was formed by the Sabah assembly in May 2001 with seven members, including himself, but after meeting twice in the same year and issuing an official document, there was no follow-up action.

"I doubt whether another select committee, even at parliamentary level, will make a difference.

"The formation of a royal commission, a favourite subject of the PBS before joining Barisan Nasional in 2003, is up to the federal cabinet, not Parliament. And as revealed by a PBS supreme council member, it was a PBS cabinet member who lobbied against the setting up of a royal commission.

"The only logical and remaining step is for ministers from Sabah to ask the cabinet to approve the formation of a royal commission similar to the commissions for the V.K. Lingam video clip, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and judicial appointments."

Parliament Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee had last week rejected a motion by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang to amend the motion of thanks on the royal address to include a request for a royal commission to be set up to deal with the illegal immigrant problem.

Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman backed the call and proposed a parliamentary select committee instead, citing that Sabah MPs would like to participate in the problem-solving process.

PBRS offers to help EC weed out phantom voters - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: May 27, 2008 By LOONG MENG YEE

The move to clean up the electoral roll is both urgent and necessary, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said.

He said the Election Commission (EC) must carry out an extensive job to clean up the electoral roll in Sabah.

The problem is too massive, especially in Sabah« TAN SRI JOSEPH KURUP

“We can assist them. We can tell them who the phantom voters are,” he said when met in Parliament here yesterday.

He was commenting on EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s proposal for a fresh electoral roll to be drawn up to stop criticisms from various parties that it lacked integrity.

Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, added that to be fair, the EC had been trying its best to clean up the roll over the years.

“But the problem is too massive, especially in Sabah,” he added.

He cited the example of the identity card of a dead person ending up in the possession of someone else, usually an illegal immigrant.

“In the March 8 general election, the problem still appeared but was not as rampant,” said Kurup.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said “the whole thing is a non-issue”.

“I believe, if you have majority support, you will win the election. At the end of the day, it is about support from your voters,” he said.

Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the move was timely considering it had been 50 years since the first general election was held.

“This is especially so as there have been many complaints of alleged discrepancies,” he added.

PKR vice-president Mohd Azmin Ali and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng agreed that there was a need for a new electoral roll and also urged Abdul Rashid to resign.

“The process to re-register must, however, also be clean and independent from the ruling government. The best is to conduct an automatic voter registration.”

Mohd Azmin said PKR had previously provided the EC with ample evidence of phantom voters.

“The EC chairman must take full responsibility for the problem of phantom voters. The chairman must be changed,” he added.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pairin: Enough talk, time to act - NST

PENAMPANG: May 26, 2008

As the Barisan Nasional parties debate over how to deal with illegal immigrants in the state, Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan urged the government to take action.

The deputy chief minister yesterday said the large population of illegal immigrants had to and could be dealt with using existing means.

"The authorities are empowered to investigate, arrest and deport illegal immigrants according to the law and for now that is where the political will should be.

"This is where action and attention is needed and the request has been made by us long before any of these arguments surfaced," he said at the traditional food competition held in conjunction with the state's Pesta Kaamatan at the Hongkod Koisaan building.

He said the setting up of either a parliamentary committee, as proposed by Sabah BN backbenchers, or a commission, as proposed by the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun and Murut Organisation (Upko), would take time.

"We have an existing force made up of various authorities such as the police and Immigration Department who can take action by going into the plantations, construction sites, squatter colonies and on the streets.

"The government should increase funds and manpower to these departments to effectively deal with the problem.

"It has been done successfully before," he said, referring to the 2002 integrated operation code named Ops Nyah II which targeted squatter colonies and their migrant residents.

Pairin said the state had detention camps to facilitate such operations.

"It's all about having strong political will.

"We cannot allow the problem of this large population of illegal immigrants to threaten our citizens and sovereignty. Action must be taken and now is the time."

Upko had said that the formation of a royal commission of inquiry on illegal immigrants would provide the platform for more effective action.

The Sabah BN Backbenchers Club, meanwhile, said it was in favour of a parliamentary select committee which included leaders from the state.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lim: Committee not as powerful as Royal Commission - The Star

IPOH: May 25, 2008

The Parliamentary Select Committee on illegal immigrants in Sabah will not have as much powers as a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

In response to Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman’s notion that Sabah MPs felt the committee was a better option, Ipoh Timor MP Lim Kit Siang said it would not be as a commission.

“The select committee will have no power to subpoena top government officials to turn up for questioning,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He said officials had refused to turn up and cooperate when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity tried to subpoena a top Immigration Department officer and a National Registration Department officer on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah.

Lim said this was one of the reasons why Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who was Minister in the Prime Minister Department at the time, resigned from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity.

“A Royal Commission is different because it has the power to subpoena and even take criminal action against those who refuse to turn up.”

Lim said the illegal immigrants in Sabah had been a problem for 30 years.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Deputy speaker: I rejected PKR's offer - Malaysiakini

Deputy speaker: I rejected PKR's offer
May 24, 08 5:59pm

Parliament deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar revealed today that he was once approached by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to cross over to the party.

According to The Borneo Post, the Santubong parliamentarian said a few PKR members approached him in Kuching several days after the federal cabinet was announced in March.

However, the politician disappointed the opposition party by expressing his loyalty to Barisan Nasional.

“I also told them that I did not believe that other Barisan MPs would be willing to cross over to PKR to form the federal government with a simple majority.

“Why should 30 or so MPs cross over to the PKR just for the sake of forming a government with a slim majority?

“The BN has already formed a strong government though eight seats short of a two-third majority,” he was quoted as saying.

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member said the coalition’s failure to secure a two-third majority in Parliament following the results of the March 8 general election should not be considered as a drawback.

According to him, the two-third majority was only useful when enacting and amending constitutional laws as other laws could still be passed even with simple majority.

More news at www.malaysiakini.com

Don’t dismiss the rumbles - The Star

ON THE BEAT
BY WONG CHUN WAI

Sabahan politicians are voicing their grouses, and a good piece of advice for Putrajaya would be to take what they are saying seriously.

THE voices of Sabahans are literally being heard in the Dewan Rakyat these days. Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia speaks in his heavily accented Sabah Bahasa Malaysia, which his fellow Members of Parliament are learning to follow.

Reporters on the parliamentary beat now have to check with each other what Pandikar is saying to ensure they get his quotes right.

But that’s not all. Sabahan MPs are now the centre of attention as speculation over the possible crossover of these politicians to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) fires the imagination of the nation.

They have cleverly voiced their unhappiness at the state of affairs back home in the Dewan Rakyat, issuing subtle threats of crossing over but remaining non-committal to any side. In short, they have said plenty but have not committed themselves to anyone.

Sabahan politicians are known for their political skills, having pulled the carpet from under the feet of the Barisan Nasional before.

I remember the PBS pulling out of the Barisan on the eve of a general election. Then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was at Angkasapuri for a concert when Datuk Joseph Pairin in Sabah announced that his party was pulling out from the coalition.

Ironically, the 70s catchy disco song, Hands On, by Ottawan was being sung as the power play took stage.

As the finale ended, Dr Mahathir adjourned for supper, and it was then that Information Minister Datuk Mohamed Rahmat whispered the bad news to him.

Dr Mahathir displayed no emotion and continued to eat. He finally decided to speak to the press close to midnight.

But he struck back hard at the rebellion, which he described as “a stab in the back”, and he used the full federal authority to punish the PBS.

Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili was arrested under the Internal Security Act on charges of endangering national security while Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who headed a PBS think-tank then, was arrested for plotting to take Sabah out of the federation.

That was not all: Umno decided to expand to Sabah and by 1994, splinter parties from the PBS had been formed.

Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the PBS deputy president, had set up the United Pasokmomugun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation with himself as president.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee, another PBS deputy president, formed the Sabah Progressive Party and the MCA also set foot in Sabah, splitting the Chinese clout deeper.

It took a long time before the PBS was allowed back to the Barisan.

Now, more than a decade later, PBS leaders, having learnt the painful lesson of being left out in the cold, prefer to be less vocal even as the country’s political temperature shoots up and the uncertainties continue.

But Yong and Dompok are speaking up again. Together with other Sabah leaders from Umno, they are grumbling that they have got a raw deal.

Citing issues from the allocation of seats and positions to the lack of development in Sabah, they are now demanding to be treated rightly and fairly.

We have delivered the votes and now, it’s your turn to deliver: that’s their call, if not an ultimatum, to the Prime Minister.

Last week, both Yong and Dompok warned Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of the very real possibility of crossovers to PR, saying the Sabah MPs were frustrated.

It is reliably learnt that when Yong met Abdullah, he appealed to the latter three times to take it seriously in order to drive home the point.

Yong gave Abdullah until August, barely three months from now, because the Sabahan politicians are aware that if the defections cannot be executed, the issue would fizzle out.

PR also realises that it needs to show some results, at least a few defections, or its threat would not be taken seriously.

The media-savvy Sabah politicians understand the short attention span of Malaysians.

If it takes too long, then the likelihood of a strong crossover to reduce the numbers on the government bench, if not topple the Government, would diminish.

From the media focus on the Olympics to the fasting month in September, it would also have its impact on the timing of the defections.

A good piece of advice for Putrajaya would be to take what the Sabahans are saying seriously