SAPP Fail To Act

Kuala Lumpur, 23rd June 2008- Disappointment. Frustration. These were the two words that would exactly describe the feelings prevailant amongst some parliament members and all those who are anti Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The reason? A much-anticipated motion to be brought up by one of the component parties of Barisan Nasional (the ruling coalition party), the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), to initiate a vote of No Confidence against the Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi never took place. In fact the person who was responsible for this whole fiasco, SAPP President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee was not even present in parliament. What was it all about then?

Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, a person of Chinese descent who hails from the East Malaysian state of Sabah intended to push for a vote of No Confidence against the current prime minister for one reason: the prime minister did not bring development to the state of Sabah as promised by him. Despite coming from a Barisan Nasional (BN) component party that holds only two parliamentary seats, he had hoped that through his move SAPP would at least make BN aware that it is not fulfilling whatever it has promised to the states that they control. Although he knew that a successful vote of No Confidence is highly impossible, he decided to go ahead based on the fact that the opposition parliament members as well as some BN parliament members who were openly (and subtly) anti-Badawi would support him.
However, when the big day came for the motion to be passed, both the SAPP parliament members were missing. Moreover, in the place of the No Confidence vote, BN brought forward a motion regarding raising fuel prices. BN won the parliamentary vote with a result of 129-78. This is seen by many as a support for Badawi’s administration. What of the two SAPP MPs? Rumors are rife on the streets that they were barred from coming to parliament by certain ‘people’. There are also rumors that they were bought over. However, there is no proof to support these accusations. Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee however, said that the two were threatened thats why they did not come. If so, where is his police report? The other parliamentary member from SAPP however sings a different tune. He claims that he had personal business to attend to and claims to have never supported to motion of No Confidence. If so, why didn’t he speak up before and voice his opinion? Instead he chose to remain silent till the day of voting (or in this case no voting).
Whatever the reason may be, at least now people are not afraid to voice out their dissatisfaction anymore. This is very different from the Mahathir era where people were afraid to speak out due to fear or repercussions of any kind. BN’s supposed solidarity is slowly fading away and soon, more component parties will voice out their dissatisfactions regarding party and goverment policies. Subtle hints of dissatisfaction can already be seen. In the meantime, as for the motion of vote of No Confidence, just as a high ranking BN member in the government said, it will never see the light of day.