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SAPP to raise SAS issue again in next sitting

TAWAU: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) will again raise the Saham Amanah Sabah (SAS) issue in the State Legislative Assembly (SLA) sitting in November and call for a white paper to reveal who was responsible for the shares losses amounting to RM500 million.

SAPP Women chief Melanie Chia said it was an issue which the Barisan Nasional (BN) had not tackled and Tawau people were talking on the issue.

"Last year in the April and August state assembly sittings, Datuk Liew Teck Chan tabled a motion for a white paper on SAS. It was first put in the agenda but in the sitting we had a technical knock-out. We assumed it would be discussed in the sitting but instead it was not discussed even after the government matters," she said yesterday at a press conference.

In August last year, she said SAPP submitted the same motion.

"This time because of media coverage, they allowed it to be tabled and discussed. They asked Datuk Raymond Tan to speak on behalf of the government. Only two persons from the state government spoke on the SAS and both were from PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah). No one from Umno spoke," she said.

Melanie said Datuk Yee Moh Chai and Datuk Herbert Timbun repeatedly accused SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee on what happened to the SAS shares.

"A white paper is the best avenue for the government to reveal. Did SAS really buy NBT shares? For so many years, Yee had been talking in the papers that because of NBT shares, the price of SAS dropped. Ordinary people cannot understand this so the best is to have a whitepaper to tell the people," she said.

She said the trip to Tawau made them realise that the people here had lost quite a sum of money in SAS, and they think that Yong had caused the shares to drop.

"We want to know, today we talk about government accountability ... transparency. They made a mockery in the state assembly when winding up and they chose Datuk Raymond Tan and he made a mockery of me and Liew," she said.

"We are not giving up. We are bringing this up again in the November sitting," she added.

Melanie also said SAPP hoped Sri Tanjong assemblyman Jimmy Wong would support and would be together on the issue in November.

"In February 2008 when Pakatan Rakyat launched its 2008 election manifesto in a hotel at Tanjung Aru, Lim Guan Eng and Dr Hiew King Cheu raised eight core issues and one of them was to fight corruption. It was implied that SAS was involved in corrupt practice. When we debated the issue in 2010, Sri Tanjung assemblyman Jimmy Wong said PR was neutral in the issue," she said.

"I said in the debate that if Yong was wrong, get MACC, 'tangkap dia', (catch him). They all kept quiet. Should we not know who the culprit is? The interesting thing during the debate was that not even one Umno member spoke," she said.

"Yee Moh Chai is in the government; he knows but is no talking. Why refer to old newspaper cuttings? You have hands-on information, why don’t you do it?" she asked, adding it could be done if the political will was there.

To a question on whether SAPP would reveal all if it formed the government, Melanie said SAPP would definitely do it if SAPP came into power. (Borneo Post)

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