Sept 17, 08 5:10pm
The following is the press statement given by Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee at 4.30pm after the party’s supreme council meeting at the Sapp headquarters in Kota Kinabalu.
1. The BN has lost its ‘BN spirit’. It was not that the people who did not want the BN, it was the BN who abandoned the people. In spite of repeated appeals from some BN members to other BN leaders to be more sensitive to the peoples' feelings, these leaders continue to treat the people with contempt. Perhaps after 50 years of uninterrupted government, some BN leaders have got it in their heads that they have a divine right to rule.
On March 8, the people had spoken out loud and clear. The BN paid a heavy price. But yet the BN refuses to learn. The ruthless increase in fuel prices on June 4 and the failure to tackle inflation and economic slowdown have dealt a severe blow to ordinary people. The recent blatant abuse of the ISA against an innocent journalist, an MP and a blogger only confirms that the BN leadership has not learned from their mistakes.
The shameful Taiwan trip by 49 BN MPs and the instigation of racial animosities have aggravated the collapse of confidence among the people and leaders, not only on the PM but the BN as well.
The PM's Budget 2009 was totally uninspiring and has already been discredited even before it was debated in Parliament. The BN has lost its moral authority to rule. Numerical majority in Parliament means little if the people no longer respect you.
3. Minister Zaid Ibrahim's resignation only confirms what many lawyers already knew that is that the prime minister and his government has never had the intention to reform the judiciary. Zaid's exposure about "the BN government being paralysed by internal strife and divisions" has also been known to many people in the BN. In many other countries, such paralysis of government will lead to fresh general elections.
4. The PM himself appeared drifting, not knowing what has been happening around him. Sapp has nothing personal against the PM and his family. None of the matters raised by Sapp concerns his person, his family, son, daughter, son-in-law or businesses. Sapp is only concerned about the issues affecting the country such as the need for good governance, the dangers of racial polarisation and injustice of economic imbalances to be tackled effectively.
5. Sapp hereby proudly dissociates ourselves from these shameful wrongdoings of the BN government. Sapp further believes that the BN is not capable of practicing good governance and non-racial politics; that BN has no intention in granting autonomy to Sabah, returning 20 percent of oil royalties and Labuan to Sabah, implement Borneonisation, review unfair federal laws and departments in Sabah, solve the illegal immigrants problems and remove social and economic imbalances.
The BN leadership even refused to recognise historical facts by denying Sept 16 as Malaysia Day, 45 years.
6. Sapp had only wanted to see that the legitimate rights of Sabah and the unfairness suffered by Malaysians in Sabah be given due attention with results. The BN must realise that, if not for Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be in the opposition today. But instead of sincerely working to solve the issues raised by Sapp, the BN has chosen to embark on a course of action to destroy Sapp.
The Sapp supreme council hereby condemns the attempts of BN operatives to destroy Sapp through divide-and-rule tactics and by abusing the economic resources of the BN state and federal governments aimed at instigating Sapp members and leaders to destroy Sapp.
7. As a matter of fact, by deliberately excluding Sapp from four consecutive meetings of the Dewan Tertinggi and two meetings of the management committee ever since the announcement of no confidence on the prime minister on June 18, the BN has effectively terminated the membership of Sapp. The Sapp supreme council hereby declares that Sapp is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition of parties.
8. Sapp is now free from the BN. Sapp shall henceforth use this freedom to pursue our autonomous political path to fulfill our mission to establish a trustworthy government and a progressive, just and harmonious society. We are no longer subservient to BN. We now have the master key to our own house. We shall build a brighter future for our people and the younger generations to come.
9. Sapp members who hold political appointments in the executive branch of government shall relinquish their posts by giving the due notice under the constitution and relevant rules and regulations, starting at the cabinet level.
10. With our experienced MPs, Aduns and other party colleagues, Sapp shall provide quality opposition in and outside the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly until the time comes when Sapp is ready to be back in government.
11. I call on our members to be brave. Do not despair. Remember that one of our party culture seven values is resilience. From the day we join the party, we knew that things can get very rough for us. Yes, together we shall overcome this difficult period because the people are with us. With the strong encouragement and support of the people, Sapp will succeed in our struggle.
12. In view of the current fasting month of Ramadan, Sapp shall only embark on a series of political activities two weeks after Hari Raya. We shall plan a road map to victory in future elections. We shall elaborate how we plan to achieve the eight-points declaration, namely:
(i) Good governance and non-racial politics
(ii) Autonomy for Sabah
(iii) 20 percent oil royalties
(iv) Return of Labuan
(v) Review of unfair laws and detrimental departments
(vi) Borneonisation of the federal civil service
(vii) Solution to the illegal immigrants issue
(viii) Redress economic and social imbalances