Salleh, Bung Mokhtar tell Yahya to stop insinuating over PM meet
Former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin have clarified their meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, along with four other senior Sabah Umno leaders, last Saturday as a normal matter. In separate statements, both said it was a normal meeting between Abdullah and leaders at various levels nationwide to update the Prime Minister on various current issues and developments on the ground. They dismissed an insinuation by Sabah Umno Liaison Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin that the purpose of their meeting with Abdullah was for their own interests only. The other four Umno leaders were Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh, Umno Kota Marudu Division Chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, Pantai Manis Assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail and former Sipitang MP Datuk Dr Yusof Yaacob. Yahya said Monday that whatever was discussed by the six leaders and Abdullah did not represent the official views of Sabah Umno or Sabah BN. “Whatever was voiced to the PM was done in their own capacity, and not the official stand of Umno or BN here,” he said. Salleh said they met with the Prime Minister in their individual capacity and, as such, the issue of their group representing Umno or Sabah BN did not arise. “What’s important is that we gave our views on various matters including the issue of Sabah’s bigger representation in the Federal Administration,” he said, adding that they echoed the feelings and sentiments of the people from grassroots level to the Prime Minister. “Nevertheless, the matter (our meeting with the PM) has become the focus of the media, maybe because of the various current political developments in Sabah.” Salleh appreciated the Prime Minister for accepting their courtesy call as it gave them the opportunity to discuss and exchange views and opinions, including on current issues that followed the outcome of the recent general election. “During the meeting, the Prime Minister not only listened, but also took down notes from our discussions in his small notebook,” he recalled. Bung Moktar said what transpired during their meeting with Abdullah was for the benefit of the people, and not for their own personal gains. “As such, don’t make any insinuation or bare speculation if you have no knowledge about our discussion with the PM. “It was unwise for Datuk Yahya to make any insinuation as it could jeopardise unity in the pay. If he wants to know about the details of our dis4ission with the PM, then he should personally me the PM, instead of making an irresponsible statement,” he said. Bong Moktar reckoned that Yahya should not be unduly worried or felt under pressure when they vere called by the Prime Minister for their feedback. As he Umno Kinabatangan Division Head, Bung Moktar also pledged his undivided support to Abdu1lah as the Umno President and Prime Minister.