Shamed Sabah Gerakan officials should quit

The possibility of Sabah Gerakan getting three seats to contest in the coming general elections has riled friend and foe.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Two Sabah state assemblymen, who resigned from their parties two years ago in order to retain their places in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, are being mocked by the opposition for their weakness.

The two – who had pleaded with their BN coalition members not to criticize them – are  Gerakan Sabah state assemblymen Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (Tanjung Papat) and Au Kam Wah (Elopura).

Both have been advised by their former ‘master’  Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) to resign from all their government posts immediately to retain their dignity.

Tan had reportedly called on his collegues in BN component parties to stop being unfriendly to Gerakan.

SAPP information chief Chong Pit Fah described Tan’s call as feeble.

He said Tan, who is also the State Industrial Development Minister, is mistaking the hard truth that the peninsula-based party is irrelevant in Sabah.

Chong said that Tan and  Au, who had joined Gerakan after leaving SAPP when it left the BN in Sept 2008, had still not understood that they had lost the respect of their BN colleagues.

“Now that Raymond Tan and Au Kam Wah have lost face and the respect of their BN colleagues, the only honourable thing for them to do is to resign all their government posts immediately,” Chong said in a statement here recently.

Three seats for Gerakan

Tan was a Deputy Chief Minister and the deputy president of SAPP when the party was still in the government coalition, while Au was the party’s youth chief.

Both defected from SAPP when the party leadership decided to withdraw its support for the BN government after the coalition lost its two-thirds majority in parliament.

SAPP believed their withdrawal would precipitate the collapse of the government and open a “window of opportunity” to address the scores of issues affecting Sabah that had been ignored by the federal government.

Tan and Au decided to join Gerakan, gifting the peninsular-based party, two state seats in the process and Tan was appointed as one of the party’s vice-presidents later.

Gerakan gained a third state seat when Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) former vice president, Peter Pang, who was then also a Deputy Chief Minister (replacing Tan), left his party after disagreeing with LDP over its stand that it could not work with Chief Minister Musa Aman.

The prospect of Gerakan being given the three seats to contest in the coming General Election has alarmed the state BN coalition members with the MP for Kalabakan, Abdul Ghapur Salleh urging Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak not to field any candidate from Gerakan in the state in the coming election.

His call was supported by several Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and LDP members who said it had been proven in the last election that Gerakan had been rejected by the people in the peninsula and was unproven in Sabah.