(Borneo Post) – The federal government should regard Sabah and Sarawak as their ‘partners’ rather than ‘sons’, said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
Yong stressed that the federal government should do away with the ‘father and son’ superiority, where the Barisan Nasional government tended to bow to the mentality of a father disciplining their children.
“That seems to be the way they treat us in Sabah. When we are naughty or making too much noise, they give us some sweets.
“This is not a healthy relationship. It makes us unwilling to listen, and not open up and express our feelings,” he said, referring to statements made by BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor about SAPP’s move to support the vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the Parliament sitting.
The former Chief Minister said history showed that both Sabah and Sarawak along with West Malaysia were joined together to form Malaysia, and therefore the two states deserved to be viewed as equals.
“It would be much healthier if the federal government could adjust their mentality, attitude and mindset that we are actually partners, rather than sons.
“We hope that what we see now will bring about change in how the central leadership looks at the two states,” he told reporters at the SAPP’s mobile service booth at the Sunday Gaya Street market, where the party leaders would spend time to listen to public grouses.
Yong, who was also at the booth yesterday which attracted a big crowd and many stopped by to chat or shake his hands.
Touching on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s comment that BN would remain strong despite SAPP’s no confidence vote against the Prime Minister, Yong said that it was the expected response from the party leadership.
“They must say their part in order to consolidate the BN in view of what has been happening. I will just take what he said at face value,” said Yong.
On support from other BN component parties, he said that at least two component parties would be happy to go along with whatever the party leadership decided, but he hoped that the other component parties would lend their support.
“I think that a lot of people will support us. I know certain leaders at the federal level and from other states have basically lost confidence in the Prime Minister and some have indicated it within their own parties,” he said, hoping the vote for no confidence would be tabled during the Parliament session which begins today.