Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SAPP Hints Coalition Of Independent Reps

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama)

Sabah Progessive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who on Wednesday declared in Kota Kinabalu that his party had lost confidence in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has hinted the possibility of several elected representatives from Sabah abandoning Barisan Nasional (BN) to serve as independent elected representatives.

The former Sabah chief minister also ruled out the possibility of these "independent MPs" and state assemblymen joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)-led Pakatan Rakyat should they decide to quit the ruling coalition.

Yong, who has been critical of Abdullah's political decisions on Sabah and what he described as "unpopular" measures pertaining to fuel price hikes and illegal immigrants' issues in the state, said they were not keen to cross over to a peninsula-based opposition party.

"We don't want that. What we want is if there is any political party in the state, it should be a Sabah-based party, looking after the affairs in the state and its people," he said in an interview with Bernama in Kota Kinabalu recently.

"We don't foresee ourselves joining any other peninsula-based opposition party if we ever decide to dump BN. Maybe only in terms of a loose coalition (with a peninsula-based opposition party)," he added.

He, however, declined to say whether SAPP itself would leave the BN.

"Let's wait and see," said Yong, who declared in Kota Kinabalu that the party's two members of parliament (Sepanggar and Tawau) would support a motion for a vote of no confidence against the prime minister in the coming Parliament sitting on Monday.

Several SAPP leaders, when met, indicated that several state politicians from other parties had shown interest in joining the "coalition of independent representatives".

"It's not just SAPP only. It will be a bigger coalition of independent members of parliament and assemblymen, at least until the next general election," said one leader who declined to identified.

It is learnt that about 10 to 18 Sabah MPs and assemblymen would announce their decision to quit BN and jump-start the "independents" pack" in a matter of days.

"Just watch out for this Saturday. It could be another political tsunami," an aide to the SAPP chief said.

Meanwhile, a political observer said several MPs from Sabah could announce their stance in the BN after the SAPP holds its emergency supreme council meeting this Friday.

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