SAPP says Shafie only took up Sabah rights after his sacking

Rival opposition leaders Richard Yong and Shafie Apdal on state’s rights.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has questioned fellow opposition Parti Warisan Sabah’s motive in fighting for Sabah’s rights and said Warisan president Shafie Apdal only took up the issue after his sacking from the federal cabinet.

“Shafie has been very late coming out to fight for Sabah. Everyone knows that he only talked about fighting for Sabah rights after his sacking as a minister. He never had the courage to resign,” said SAPP secretary-general Richard Yong We Kong.

“Sabahans know that he has a personal feud with Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and his hidden agenda is to get the chief minister’s post,” Yong said.

He was responding to Pakatan Harapan deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement on Saturday that Shafie had always raised various issues in the cabinet when he was a minister.

Yong said SAPP leaders, on the other hand, had been consistent in their struggle for Sabah’s rights and state autonomy and sacrificed their government positions for this.

“SAPP dared to leave Barisan Nasional in 2008. Our then Luyang assemblywoman Melanie Chia resigned her ministerial post while Datuk Liew Teck Chan, the Likas assemblyman then, also quit his position with Sedco (Sabah Economic Development Corporation).”

He said the party’s former MPs — Eric Majimbun of Sepanggar and Chua Soon Bui of Tawau — as well as SAPP president Yong Teck Lee had rejected lucrative offers for various posts.

Yong was offered a senator post plus a ministerial-status post as an envoy for the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean

Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

Yong said SAPP information chief Chong Pit Fah had also quit as Penampang district council deputy chairman.

“Many of our leaders and members had also resigned from their respective government appointments such as municipal councillors and local leaders, including kapitan and ketua kampung, as well as board directors in government-linked companies,” he said.

He said it was ironic that while SAPP had declared a “no confidence” motion against then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a decade ago, Muhyiddin and Shafie were vociferously defending Umno.

“At the same time, they were pushing up Najib to replace Abdullah,” he added.

Yong said until now, SAPP and its fellow Gabungan Sabah components continued to fight for Sabah.

“To protect the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution, the honour of the Sabah Legislative Assembly and the dignity of Sabah people, Yong and other Gabungan leaders dared to sue the PM,” he said.

“Where are the PH and Warisan lawyers and leaders who failed to fight BN-Umno Malaya? They are silent because they are Malaya-controlled and will not fight for Sabah,” he said.

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