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Chong Kah Kiat’s resignation no real loss?


Blog Statement        
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Petaling Jaya, Saturday) : Chong Kah Kiat’s resignation as Sabah Deputy Chief Minister is “no real loss” to Barisan Nasional. With or without Kah Kiat makes no difference to the BN in Sabah.


This is the clear message from the public reaction of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as reported by the Star today:

Chong’s exit not really a loss, says Abdullah

The resignation of Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat is “not really a loss” because it will not weaken the Barisan Nasional state government, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

The Prime Minister said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman had informed him of Chong's intention to step down, saying he wanted to rest. 

He added that there was no other reason than that given by Musa. 

“So as far as I am concerned, he will get his wish. Let him rest,” he told reporters yesterday after launching the Conference to Improve the Delivery System of Government Services To Improve the Development Process As Well As Property Management. 

Abdullah said Chong's resignation was not unexpected because the latter had expressed his desire to step down a number of times. 

On whether the resignation was a loss, Abdullah said; “Not really a loss in the sense that I don't think the government of Sabah is going to be weakened with him not being around. But anyway we would like to say 'thank you'.” 

Has Kah Kiat become so irrelevant and inconsequential in Barisan Nasional and Sabah politics as to be shrugged off so ignominiously by both the Prime Minister and the Sabah Chief Minister?


Kah Kiat had said that he was quitting the Sabah Cabinet “as a matter of principles” – implying basic and fundamental differences with the Sabah Chief Minister.


The media have  reported that ties have been strained between the chief minister and his deputy for some time over numerous issues like Musa’s plans to develop Pulau Sipadan island off Sabah’s east coast, with Malaysiakini citing as “ the final straw” their differences over Chong's proposal to build a huge statue of the Goddess of Mercy in Kudat as a tourist attraction.


Has Chong become such a cipher in the eyes of Abdullah and Musa that his  “shock resignation” is dismissed with such contempt?


I have been informed that Chong’s resignation has whipped up “anti-Musa” sentiments on the ground in Sabah to an all-time high. Everybody seems to be talking about Musa’s greed and cronyism.


Sabah and Sarawak, under Chief Ministers Musa and Tan Sri  Abdul Taib Mahmud, are monopolizing media attention in a manner which are not in the best interests of the state or the nation.


The administrations of both Sabah and Sarawak stand as affronts and total mockery of Abdullah’s pledge of anti-corruption and the National Integrity Plan.


Is the Prime Minister so helpless and impotent after an unprecedented landslide 91% sweep of the parliamentary seats in the 2004 general election?



* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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