Friday, 5 April 2013



BELIEVES .....Former Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee believes KL politicians are 'shrewd and manipulative' and have no qualms about lying to achieve a hidden agenda.

KOTA KINABALU: The reality about Sabahans is that they have always been “too nice” and that translates as ‘naïve’, says former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee.

Yong is fighting to get his Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) in front of the pack of political parties targeting voters here ahead of the general election expected in the next few weeks.

In an appeal to Sabahans to take their destiny into their own hands, Yong recently urged voters to reject the politics of Peninsular Malaysia and take back their state.

The SAPP leader, who is facing a formidable task of uniting Sabahans in favour of his autonomous outlook for the state, told a large gathering at a political talk on Tuesday that voters in the state must grab the chance to free themselves.

He’s worried the naivety of Sabah people, despite being abominably dominated throughout their history by the power politics emanating out of the peninsula, will work against them.

Yong cited how the late Abdul Razak, the father of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, had persuaded the late OKK Sodomon Gunsanad to change his hostile stance towards Malaya back in 1963.

This was achieved, he said, by the simple act of visiting Gunsanad at his house. This visit deeply touched Gunsanad as revealed by Najib himself when he visited the landmark in Keningau during the last Harvest Festival.

Gunsanad’s case, he said, was a reflection of Sabahans’ true nature of being too nice and easily hoodwinked by others.

“Sabahans are just too nice and friendly, and that’s the problem with Sabah today,” he said, pointing out the manipulation of naive local politicians by the Malayan politicians when the latter wanted to take over the state’s oil wealth in the 1960s.

Since then, he added, Malayan politicians had been playing the game of “divide-and-rule” by pitting one ethnic Sabah politician against another.

“KL’s agenda is always to divide and rule Sabah; Manusia pun dia, hantu pun dia (He is man and also ghost). While they make us fight among ourselves, they rob and steal from us,” he said.

Sabahans, he said, will get a chance to show that they mean business in the coming general election by depending on themselves and their own local parties to chart their future.

KL politics

Yong explained that this was the very reason behind SAPP’s not joining the peninsula-based national opposition front Pakatan Rakyat.

“(It is so that we can) end the continuous manipulation and exploitation of Sabah and its rich natural resources; the people of Sabah must rise up and fight to regain full political autonomy for the state.”

The former chief minister whose party was once in the ruling BN coalition painted Malayan politicians as “shrewd and manipulative” and with no qualms about lying to achieve a hidden agenda.

“This is KL politics. When they need you, they will even go to your house or invite you to their house for lunch and even serve you personally,” he said.

He cited how then prime minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi did exactly this after he learnt that SAPP planned to cast a vote of no confidence against him two months after the 2008 election and that Yong had met with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim two weeks earlier.

Yong said that he was candid with Abdullah about his leadership.

“I made sure that Pak Lah knew about our intentions [to reject his leadership] when he invited us to his home for lunch.

“This is so that we were not misunderstood as ‘tikam belakang’ (back stabbing) like the PBS withdrawal from Barisan Nasional in 1990.

“It was dubbed back stabbing by [Dr] Mahathir [Mohamad] because PBS leader [Joseph] Pairin [Kitingan] was nice and friendly to him when both campaigned in Sabah in 1990, but PBS abruptly left BN after Mahathir had gone back to KL,” he said.

Yong also revealed that he repeatedly made it clear to Anwar in 2008 that SAPP would not be joining Pakatan as it would mean giving up its agenda of restoring political autonomy for Sabah.

“Finally, he [Anwar] understood and agreed with SAPP’s stand and that’s the reason why until today he never insisted that SAPP must join Pakatan Rakyat,” said Yong.

He hoped his explanation would put to rest allegations against him by some Pakatan leaders, especially those in Sabah DAP, who he said had been going around saying that the reason why SAPP refused to join the opposition coalition was because it planned to rejoin BN.

Yong also asked the coalition leaders to explain why Sabah was not on the list of the seven states it expected to win. “If not confident of winning [in Sabah], why contest?” he asked. (FMT)

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