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Monday, September 11, 2017

Labuan SAPP: Not time for Yong to step down

LABUAN - Staunch supporters of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) here want party President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee to continue to lead it. They feel SAPP's mission is not complete yet and there is no suitable leader in sight to pass the baton.

SAPP spread its wings here in 1994 and remained active till 2007. The party's strongholds here were Rancha Rancha and Sungei Keling, which have a predominant Chinese population.

Labuan SAPP has a few hundred members and though being a Sabah-based party, there are still many here remaining loyal to it due to Yong.

Former SAPP CLC Secretary here, Bryan Tan, said:

"We definitely cannot accept Yong stepping down from the top post. There is no valid reason for this and there is still much work to be done.

"After all Yong is only 58 and much younger than former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is till active crossing 90. Yong's leadership is important to SAPP because he is a politician of calibre and character. Yong has led SAPP out of Barisan Nasional in 2008 due to differences with Umno and never returned his back. Even the offer of the special envoy position for the BIMP-EAGA region did not interest him."

Bryan added that Sabah and Labuan needed political leaders like Yong to move forward and Yong's continued interest in Labuan despite it being a Federal Territory is another reason why many here preferred him.

"If Yong gives up his position, there is every possibility that those who support SAPP may also abandon the party," he added.

On SAPP not doing well in the last general election being a reason for Yong's decision to quit, Bryan said the loss should be taken as a challenge.

"During the last election, the propaganda machines of some parties were strong and many did not understand well the struggles of SAPP, the defeat was not due to Yong," he added.

On why after so many years there were still many here supporting Yong, Bryan said Yong did much for Labuan.

He said when Yong was Sabah Chief Minister from 1996 to 1998, he took great interest in Labuan and provided funds to Chinese schools in the island.

"Yong also bestowed many State awards on local residents," he added.

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