Friday, 20 June 2008
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday revealed that he offered to make Datuk Yong Teck Lee a senator and Special Envoy to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The Prime Minister said that since Yong could not contest in the last general election because the seats allocated to the party had been filled, he had decided to offer the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president to be a member of the Dewan Negara.
"I remember when he was deciding on the candidates for the election he only decided his members to be candidates for the seats allocated to his party.
"But he wanted to be a candidate (but) since there were no more seats, he requested a seat allocated to another party," Abdullah told reporters after chairing the three-hour Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council emergency meeting here.
Abdullah said Yong wanted to contest the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat that was allocated to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) but the party was not willing to give way to Yong and he was unhappy about it.
Abdullah said he had also planned to appoint Yong as Special Envoy to the BIMP-EAGA.
"I told him ‘You will be made Special Envoy with regard to BIMP-EAGA’ so that he would have a role to play like in matters relating to promoting trade and tourism as well as matters relating to border problems and illegal immigrants.
"He said okay, that's good. I then began the move and informed Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and he was happy but suddenly, he takes this attitude," he said.
Abdullah said the offer could not be implemented immediately because it had to go through several procedures including making a submission to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He said that when he was in Sabah recently and announced several incentives and development projects for the people in the state, Yong was absent because he was said to be in Sandakan.
"It seems he has begun to take another course. So, why should I give (the offer to) him. "At last, we know what he wants. Apparently, he is more interested in what Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser) is offering him. Perhaps, he wants something bigger. What is the offer? I don't know," he said.
Abdullah said he regretted Yong's actions because the former Sabah chief minister could have been able to fulfil his obligations to the Sabah people if he had accepted the posts offered. ─ Bernama/The Malaysian Insider