Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Two Sabah MPs recalled home after 'threats' - The Star


The two MPs of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) have been recalled home to Sabah for security reasons, said party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

He claimed that the two MPs – Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) – had been threatened by certain quarters over SAPP’s decision to support a no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister.

The two MPs, who were in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Parliament meeting which began yesterday, were told to return immediately.

“In view of this disturbing turn of events, SAPP has taken extra precautions for the safety of the MPs by calling them back to the party headquarters for consultations on the next course of action, including the safety of their persons, families and the security of their offices,” Yong said.

Heading home: Majimbum and Dr Chua

He said that ever since SAPP announced the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister on June 18, the SAPP had been advised by “friendly parties not to underestimate the risky consequences and likely threats to SAPP and its leaders.”

“Events in the last 24 hours have taken a disturbing turn. Among others, we have received reports of intimidation and bullying (against us),” he said.

Yong said the two MPs and their aides had received SMS messages and unidentified phone calls implying threats.

Other threats included several illegal banners instigating unspecified actions against Dr Chua appearing overnight in Tawau and a planned demonstration at her office in Tawau scheduled for today.

SAPP had advised Tawau officials to lodge police reports, not to provoke the demonstrators and to take leave from the office until the tension had eased, he said in a statement.

In Kota Kinabalu, Yong claimed that aggressive words touching on racial incitement were used at a Sepanggar Barisan Nasional gathering held at the Umno headquarters on Saturday.

“SAPP truly appreciates and is very encouraged by the tremendous outpouring of support for the SAPP’s move on a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister,” he said.

“Our perseverance on this course of action is very much helped in knowing that the people are with us.”

He said Malaysians from peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak have also come forward to support its cause.

“We can feel the pent up frustrations of ordinary Malaysians who want change, a change for the better,” Yong said.

He said SAPP felt overwhelmed with the discussion in the printed media, on the Internet and on blogs, and through e-mail and SMS messages “be it in favour or not of SAPP, that have successfully brought the Sabah issues into the national focus.”

When asked to comment on Yong's statement that Majimbun and Dr Chua had not turned up in Parliament yesterday because they had received death threats, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said “they were making things up”.

“In Malaysia we don’t go to that extent. It’s ridiculous. They must be joking. Who is going to threaten them? Barisan doesn’t do that,” he said

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