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19 May 2010

Sabah, Sarawak will continue to be BN’s ‘fixed deposit’

Sabah Umno liaison deputy chief Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said today Sabah, along with Sarawak, will continue to be the “fixed deposit” for the Barisan Nasional (BN), and shrugged off any notion that the Sabah BN faced a leadership crisis.

Salleh, a former Sabah chief minister, said the DAP victory in the Sibu parliamentary by-election in Sarawak on Sunday should not be used as the basis to claim that Sabah and Sarawak were no longer the “fixed deposit” for the BN.

“It (the outcome of the Sibu by-election) did not reflect the overall support of the people on the ground. It was an isolated case which was largely based on localised issues. I believe they will regret because by voting for the opposition it won’t solve their problems, and in the next election they will come back to the BN.

“The majority of the people of Sabah, and I believe also in Sarawak, are still solidly with the BN. We cannot conclude like that solely based on this by-election alone, and we must have a proper analysis or post-mortem,” he told reporters here.

Salleh was responding to a statement by Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) deputy president Datuk Chin Su Phin yesterday urging federal BN leaders to stop treating Sabah and Sarawak as the BN’s “fixed deposit” and claimed that the Sabah BN was having leadership problems. LDP is a Sabah BN component party.

Contrary to the claim, Salleh said, the Sabah BN was still solid and the majority of the BN component parties supported the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

“The chief minister also has the support of the people of Sabah and federal leaders are happy with the state BN leadership. As a BN component party, we should abide by or support a leader chosen by the BN leadership,” he said. 

Salleh also expressed regret that such a statement had come from a leader of a BN component party in the state.

“I don’t understand why they made such a statement openly in the media when they said that they had already brought this matter up with the BN leadership.

“We have proper avenues to give or channel our opinions or ideas for the betterment of the BN. For example, the leader of the state BN component party concerned could channel or meet the state BN chairman personally or they can also bring it up to the state Cabinet where the LDP has a representative who happens to be a deputy chief minister,” he said. LDP vice-president Datuk Peter Pang is a Sabah deputy chief minister.

Salleh said making such a statement openly was uncalled for and was not in line with the BN spirit.

He said the outcome of the Sibu by-election should not be linked to the political scenario in Sabah, let alone give the impression that Sabah and Sarawak should no longer be regarded as the “fixed deposit” for the BN.

Salleh called on the BN component parties in the state to work hard and hand-in-hand to ensure that the BN continued to be the No. 1 choice of the people.

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