KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee believes the Warisan-led Sabah government is shooting itself in the foot politically by repeatedly saying its elected representatives will remain loyal.
Yong, who is Sabah Progressive Party president, said the state government was destabilising itself through the repeated denials, such as the “out-of-the-blue show of support” for Chief Minister Shafie Apdal recently by a group of 19 elected representatives.
“It was that ‘no smoke without fire’ news that triggered widespread talk among the people that the Warisan-led government might fall.
“The appearance of weakness was compounded by the fact that only 19 of the 48 supposed government assemblymen were present,” he said in a statement here today.
Besides that, Yong said, on June 10, a joint statement was issued in the name of eight Warisan MPs pledging support for Shafie.
“Was that pledge of support necessary in the first place? Two days later on June 12, the chief minister, who is also the Warisan president, called all the elected reps to his office for a show of force. Three assemblymen were absent.
“All these denials and show of force have presented the image of a panicky chief minister who is unsure of the support of the elected reps.”
Yong said Warisan should not grumble about the luring of its elected representatives by the Perikatan Nasional and its supporters as Warisan and Pakatan Harapan were doing the same at the federal level.
“In contrast, in spite of efforts by PH-Plus to woo MPs to topple the Perikatan Nasional government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the PN leaders have come across as calm and steady and in full control.”
The SAPP president said a revelation by a Warisan minister on social media recently also suggested the dominant party was unsure if it still had the support of its assemblymen.
“In the last one week, it has become common talk that the state assembly might be dissolved in order to frustrate the takeover of the Sabah government by elected reps aligned to the PN federal government.
“Then, a loud-mouthed Warisan minister let the cat out of the bag when he tweeted ‘about the meeting at Istana that the idea of bubar (dissolution) was discarded to wait for the result of the July 18 Parliament sitting’.”
Yong said that was the first public revelation by a Cabinet minister of a meeting at the state palace on the idea of dissolving the state assembly.
“Since the only reason that the state assembly can be dissolved three years early is that the government has lost its majority in the assembly, it is now believed that Warisan leaders believe they can no longer command the confidence of the majority in the assembly,” he said.
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