Yong to Tsu Koon: Don’t compare yourself with me

Tham wants to make more millions from his “friendship” with ministers Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Datuk Peter Chin, Tan Sri Koh, Sabah CM Datuk Musa Aman and others. He told me this in mid 2008.

By DS Yong Teck Lee (ex-CM Sabah)

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee is surprised why Gerakan President Koh Tsu Koon keeps comparing himself with me. It could be due to his closeness to Tham Nyip Shen who has a habit of biting people. Koh and other Ministers should be warned that Tham is merely using them to benefit himself.

I realized this too late, against the warnings of so many friends and colleagues for 30 years. Tham wants to make more millions from his “friendship” with ministers Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Datuk Peter Chin, Tan Sri Koh, Sabah CM Datuk Musa Aman and others. He told me this in mid 2008 when I realised that he would not leave the BN with SAPP in 2008. He said CM Datuk Musa Aman had promised him the billion ringgit petrochemical plant in Kimanis together with Bernad Dompok (representing the KDMs) and me (for the Chinese), with him taking the lead in the project. Tham hastily organized a lunch meeting with Dompok and me at Damai. Datuk Musa later confirmed to me in his office that he (Musa) would handle the Malay side. To me this is bribery to stay in BN and a sellout for Sabah. I rejected the bribe.

“When the time comes, Tham will turn around and bite Koh, Dompok, Musa and others. For 20 years, he was a fierce personal enemy of Puan Sri Genevieve Pairin Kitingan calling her all kinds of names that, as a gentleman, I dare not repeat here. But today, he could turn around and call Puan Sri Genevieve his political mother. For 30 years, he kept my confidence, sung my praises and coached me along. He cursed Edward Khoo, Yee Moh Chai, Raymond Tan and so many others but always saying how good I was. I was fooled. Others will be fooled by him. In the name of humanity, I ask every living human being to beware of Tham Nyip Shen. If he can camouflage himself so shrewdly for 30 years, and come up with such vicious and wicked lies against me today, nobody, not even his own family is safe from him.

“As for Koh Tsu Koon, any semblance of honour that people had in Koh disappeared when he crawled into the cabinet by way of a back door Senatorship. He had earlier said he would not want to enter cabinet via the back door. I resent being compared with him. Unlike Koh, I had proudly rejected the official nomination as Senator and ministerial-status as BIMP-EAGA envoy in June 2008. Koh call this “arrogance”. I call this pride and honour; Pride as a Sabahan who can say “NO” to Kuala Lumpur, honour as a Sabahan who refused to be bribed.

“Although Koh and I had worked together and compared notes during our time as counter parts, being Chief Ministers at the time 1996 to 1998, I pitied Koh that he was often being bullied around. He could only claim close ties with fellow Penangite (then Deputy Prime Minister) Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a way to boost his clout.

“At one function in KL, I witnessed Koh being rudely scolded by a Malay government officer when Koh spoke in Mandarin with Tham Nyip Shen. To my shock, Koh meekly kept quiet. Koh and Tham then switched to English mixed with some Malay words. Another time, I saw how Koh had to lower himself physically and emotionally when begging the then Kedah Menteri Besar (Sanusi Junid) not to proceed with the airport proposal in the Northern region (which presumably would compete with the Penang airport). Sanusi brushed Koh aside and walked away. Koh had to run after him. These are incidents that made me realize that the political DNA of the national BN leaders is completely wrong. I resent being compared with Tsu Koon because he was a coward in dealing with UMNO. UMNO like to have such puppets.

“There was no dignity, no mutual respect, no honour in the relationship between Koh and his UMNO colleagues. It does not matter whether Koh change his style from “tai chi” to “kung fu” or whatever. His political DNA is subservient to UMNO.

“Koh and Gerakan and MCA leaders just could not understand why I, as the then Sabah CM, could reject federal UMNO directives such as the then Acting Prime Minister’s approval of a gaming licence in Sabah. I had also successfully rejected the extension to Sabah of the Local Government Act, the Employment Act, the Indah Water Sewerage Consortium, among others.

“On my part, yes, I have lost Batu Sapi. We knew the risks. Defeat was a real possibility. Today, our enemies are gleefully mocking me and other SAPP leaders. But we conducted an honourable campaign against all odds. We lost Batu Sapi but kept our honour.

“Koh Tsu Koon lost his own seat, his Penang State and his honour and dignity. His final nail will be when he is betrayed by Tham Nyip Shen.”