BN top leaders meet on SAPP move

Posted by SM Maulana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Leaders from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition are now meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the Sabah Progressive Party’s (SAPP) move to support a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when Parliament reconvenes next week.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi goes through some papers at the meeting. With him are Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (left) and MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who made the shock announcement in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, and other leaders from his party were not invited for the emergency meeting, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor told reporters.

The 13-member coalition now holds 140 seats in Parliament, eight short of its traditional two-thirds majority, and controls eight states. If SAPP is ejected from the coalition, the BN will lose two seats in Parliament and four in the Sabah state assembly, further increasing Abdullah’s unpopularity among his party members and Malaysians.

Leaders of BN component parties all set to decide on the SAPP action.

Political observers said Yong, who has twice met de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to discuss political options, is gambling on the BN sacking his party to enable him to join the nascent Pakatan Rakyat with a clear conscience.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu arriving for the meeting.

Yong, who used to be Sabah chief minister under the BN rotating leadership formula, has said the SAPP wants the federal government to do more for the Borneo state. However, Abdullah said Yong’s move is personal and stems from greed.


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