SAPP pulls out of Barisan

SAPP pulls out of Barisan

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Pro­gressive Party (SAPP) has decided to pull out of the 14-member Barisan Nasional Government, taking away two MPs and at least two of its four assemblymen who will remain independent.

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Li and his supreme council members raising their hands after announcing SAPP's pullout from Barisan Nasional at their HQ in Luyang yesterday. - NORMIMIE DIUN / THE STAR

The decision to pull out was made at the SAPP supreme council meeting where its president Datuk Yong Teck Lee obtained the support of nearly all of its 35 members and declared that SAPP was not joining Pakatan Rakyat.

Yong said his party would remain independent in the opposition bench until a time came when SAPP was ready to be back in government.

Opposing Yong’s pullout move was SAPP deputy president Datuk Raymond Tan (Deputy Chief Minister and the state Infrastructure Minister), vice-president Jimmy Wong (political secretary to the Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman) and Elopura assemblyman Au Kam Wah.

Yong: ‘We are ready to talk toanyone who will help us achieveour agenda for Sabah’

Tan said he would submit his resignation from the state Cabinet to Musa, and all three would announce their position within the party and future plans, including the possibility of setting up a new party today.

SAPP is heading for a split with a third of its 300 branches from the east coast expected to follow the three.

With Yong at the press conference were SAPP’s MPs Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepangar), Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau), assistant state Finance Minister Melanie Chia (Luyang) and Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas). The Luyang and Likas assemblymen will remain as independents.

Yong did not rule out cooperation with the Pakatan Rakyat parties, adding: “We are ready to talk to anyone who will help us achieve our agenda for Sabah.”

He said Barisan had excluded SAPP from six meetings since their call for a no confidence vote against the Prime Minister on June 18, adding that this had effectively terminated the membership of SAPP.

“Barisan had lost its BN Spirit,” he said.

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