KOTA KINABALU, May 6, 2018: Voters here deserve a strong voice in Parliament after being neglected by their DAP elected representatives for the past 10 years, Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said.
Yong, who is among the three contenders for the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat, said he was committed to being a strong voice for Sabahans in Parliament.
(The others were Barisan Nasional’s Dr Henry Lee who contested under the DAP ticket for Putatan in 2013 and Chan Foong Hin of DAP, the former Sri Tanjung State Assemblyman.)
“I’m contesting in KK because this is where I’ve lived and worked, it is where my home is, where my family and friends are,” he said.
“I know the people of KK as well as the people here know me. KK is where my heart and soul is,” said Yong, a former Chief Minister.
“I am being kind to Chan when I say that it would be an agony for him if he were elected as MP for KK because he could not be any better than Jimmy Wong Su Phin, our missing MP, who has since gone back to Tawau,” he added.
Yong said he was SAPP’s only Parliamentary candidate and the party’s focus was representing Kota Kinabalu folk and Sabahans in general.
“Based on various surveys, KK voters no longer trust BN so that the remaining contest for the KK parliamentary seat is between SAPP and DAP,” he added.
He said Chan on the other hand was among the dozens of DAP MP candidates nationwide and Sabah was not a priority for the party.
“While Chan is one of the many, many candidates from DAP throughout Malaysia, I am the one and only MP candidate from SAPP, Sabah’s own longest surviving opposition party,” Yong said.
“That makes me the only one standing from my party in the running for a Parliamentary seat,” he said.
“Chan could have contested in Tawau. But he was sent to KK because DAP knows their former MP here was ineffective and it is doing anything to keep KK a safe seat for them. It is nothing than a desperate political manoeuvre,” Yong said.
He said SAPP had never wavered in its struggle for Sabah to regain what was due to it as outlined in the nation’s founding documents.
“In the 10 years that SAPP has been in the opposition, we are the only opposition party that has remained consistent. Look at DAP, in 2013 it condemned Dr. Mahathir and told us to trust PAS. Today DAP embraces Dr. Mahathir and tells us to hate PAS,” he said.
He said SAPP has led the way its Borneo Agenda that has been copied and hijacked that other political parties including those from Malaya.
“National parties including UMNO, PKR and DAP used to ridicule SAPP for championing Sabah rights, autonomy and MA63. But today, all these parties shamelessly hijack our Borneo Agenda,” he added.
Despite the hijacking and copying however, Malaya-based party elected representatives would never have the independence to speak out about that really matters to Sabah, Yong said.
“My independence in not being muzzled by a national party whip gives me the freedom to speak on any issues without having to toe their party line. My only boss is the people of Sabah,” he added.
Politics has taken me to the highest office in Sabah. It has also brought me to some of the lowest points of my life. Throughout it all, I have remained steadfast in my conviction that Sabah is first. Truth has always been and will remain my weapon of choice,” Yong said.
“For speaking up on sensitive issues, I have been sued and harassed,” he said.
In this regard, he said he fulfilled four key qualities required of an effective elected representative and these were to be courageous to speak up, a depth of knowledge of issues, having experience and having a good command of Bahasa Malaysia.
Yong said if elected, he would would speak out even more strongly about Sabah issues as his right to free speech would be protected by parliamentary privilege.
“To deny me parliamentary privilege is the reason why powerful groups want to make sure I do not win. But the power to elect your representative is in your hands,” he said.
“Send me to Parliament and I shall be your voice in the House. I promise to be an MP you will be proud of,” Yong said.