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.