KOTA KINABALU: An opposition politician has accused Chief Minister Shafie Apdal of having openly admitted that his cabinet needs help from former BN leaders when he praised former deputy chief minister Raymond Tan yesterday.
Tan was received into Shafie’s party Warisan yesterday two weeks after he left Gerakan.
Yong Teck Lee, president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) said Shafie’s remarks would have sent other Warisan and PH leaders into a spin.
“Tan is one of the longest-serving ministers in Sabah, holding cabinet positions for 24 years continuously under seven chief ministers between 1994 and 2018,” said Yong, who was himself chief minister between 1996 and 1998.
Yong said he hoped Tan would remind the people of Sandakan of all the big achievements he had done for Sandakan in his 24 years as their minister.
Tan’s decision had long been expected by those who know him, Yong said. “What was surprising was that he took so long to make this move. Obviously, the sudden Sandakan by-election gave him an excuse to make himself useful again,” he said.
Yesterday, Tan said that he made the decision for the sake of Sabah and the people, and was ready to help the government in any way he could as he only wanted to assist the chief minister.
Yong said Tan had given a similar reason when he left SAPP in 2008 after SAPP withdrew from the then ruling BN government.
Tan, a former Tanjong Papat assemblyman, had said he had been asked to join Warisan but Shafie had said it was Tan who came to see him and expressed his willingness to join.
“No matter who is right, the undisputed fact is that both Shafie and Tan have revealed that there is a dangerous lack of good leaders in the current Sabah administration,” said Yong.