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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yong: Be wary of ‘Malayan’ parties

Yong Teck Lee
The former chief minister says the Peninsula-based opposition parties have no right to talk about fighting for Sabah autonomy.
KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee cautioned Sabahans against the peninsula-based opposition parties’ talk of “fighting for Sabah autonomy” in their bid for support as the country gears up for 13th general election.
“The Malayan parties have no qualification or right to talk about or claim to be fighting for autonomy for Sabah, as they are all from across the South China Sea,” he told a gathering here on Monday night.
“We have been cheated from 1962 until now. We should not be cheated anymore,” he said in reference to DAP’s claim that it too was fighting for autonomy for Sabah.
Yong said that like the state Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, Sabah DAP too had to take
instructions from its political masters in Kuala Lumpur.
He pointed out that Sabah DAP’s manifesto even blatantly talked about abolishing the 7.5% sales tax worth RM1 billion on crude palm oil, which would ultimately benefit the Peninsula-based major oil palm companies, including Felda.
Speaking to more than 400 guests at a gathering-cum-dinner, he also described Sabah DAP as a “loose set-up” which is subservient to its top leaders in the peninsula.
Yong said that Sabahans are capable of administering the state and deciding their own fate.
“Others can look down on us, but we should not look down on ourselves. We must always safeguard our dignity as Sabahans,” he said.
Reiterating SAPP’s intention to contest at least 40 seats in the coming general election, Yong said that this was in order to win enough seats to form the next state government.

Absolute right
Meanwhile, SAPP information chief Chong Pit Fah likened its fight for autonomy for the state, to a houseowner exercising his right to protect his property against intruders.
“As a thoroughbred Sabah political party, SAPP has the absolute right to contest in any constituency in Sabah that it chooses to contest. We are merely exercising our right as the rightful ‘houseowners’ or ‘landowners’,” he said.
On the ongoing distribution of cash under the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) scheme, Chong urged the people to take whatever was being distributed by the BN government, but to vote for SAPP.
He described the BR1M scheme as a “vote-buying” exercise.
“Don’t be a fooled again after being cheated for more than 40 years. It’s time for us to vote the BN out.”
SAPP vice-president Wong Yit Ming, who was also present, accused state BN leaders of impoverishing the state to enrich themselves and their cronies.
“Most, if not all of them, are only looking after their own interests, while the people continue to languish and remain poor,” he said.
He cautioned Sabahans against putting all their trust in Peninsula-based opposition parties as there was no guarantee that they would not exploit the state’s rich natural resources as is happening now under the BN.
“We must not continue to put our fate in the hands of these parties from the Peninsula. After more than 40 years of plunder, enough is enough,” he said.
Others who were also present were SAPP leaders like Mohd Noor Mansoor and Paul Wong, deputy presidents Eric Majimbun, made Sidek and secretary-general Richard Yong.

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