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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SAPP: Melanie has better understanding of autonomy issue

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) supreme councillor member John Stephen sprang to the defence of party deputy president Melanie Chia, saying she has better understanding about the issue of autonomy for Sabah compared with State DAP leaders.

Responding to a remark by State Dap publicity secretary Phoong Jin Zhe on Chia's earlier statement, Stephen said DAP is merely trying to fish for votes by announcing to outline its autonomy plans for Sabah and Sarawak should Pakatan Harapan and its allies form the Federal Government.

He said never at any point did SAPP rejected the autonomy for Sabah as spelled out in the Malaysian Agreement 1963.

"Phoong should have been thankful for Chia's statement because it came from a local leader and one who has a wide experience on the issue and in State governance. She was only asking why the promise to the people of Sabah was made by DAP national leaders instead of its State leaders whose knowledge about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is shallow," he said in a statement.

He said Phoong was twisting Chia's statement when she questioned the DAP's promise of autonomy towards Sabah and Sarawak.

Chia had recently questioned Dap secretary-general Lim Guan Eng's understanding of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Dap's promise of autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak.

She also questioned whether Lim could make the promises on behalf of the opposition coalition PH and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPRM) headed by Dr. Mahathir.

"It's unlikely that Mahathir will agree to Dap's promise of giving us 20 percent oil royalty and returning 50 percent of all tax recceipts collected from the state.

"They can't even agree on who will be prime minister. Can they agree on giving Sabah back billions in revenue?" she reportedly said.

John insisted the DAP should have first sought the agreement from Pakatun Harapan and PBBM that they are also on the same page over the matter before making such promises to Sabah.

He also advised Phoong to be careful in making statements and refrain from following the footsteps of other Dap leaders whom he said have a habit of twisting other people's words and throwing baseless accusation particularly at SAPP.

Despite his counter statement, John agreed with Phoong that the opposition parties must unite to bring down the Umno-led BN.

At the same time however, he urged the DAP to show its sincerity in honouring the MA63 by staying out of the State elections. - DE

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