KOTA KINABALU: Veteran politician, Datuk Mohd Noor Mansoor said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee’s loss in the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election was just a minor setback.
This was Yong’s first ever defeat in seven elections he took part in.
The former Finance Minister said looking back at history, Yong was in a similar situation like Berjaya President Datuk Harris Salleh who had lost in two by-elections in Tenom and Sipitang. However within six months after that his party won by a landslide in the state election to mark the beginning of the era of the Berjaya state government.
According to Mohd Noor, there had been cases even in Peninsular Malaysia where leaders lost in by-elections but went on to win in the general election.
Yong who was a former Chief Minister, had once represented the Gaya parliamentary seat and the Likas state seat.
Mohd Noor reiterated that it was not the time for SAPP members and supporters to start having doubts but should instead strive to give their fullest support to their leaders, particularly to Yong so that SAPP would rise up again.
“I am not really too worried about the Batu Sapi by-election defeat,” said Mohd Noor in his first public statement on the issue.
Speaking at the SAPP’s annual Malam Muhibbah at the Foo Chow Association Hall in Luyang near here on Saturday night, Mohd Noor who was the former Berjaya Secretary-General had no doubt that SAPP was going to remain strong since the party had a strong president.
“Yong has strong resilience,” according to Mat Noor and was evident during the by-election campaign at Batu Sapi.
Mohd Noor who had attended every SAPP’s function ever since he joined the party to impart his knowledge and experience to party supporters said, “a lot could be learned from the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election.”
On another note, Mohd Noor reiterated that SAPP was the only party that could help the Sabah people to regain their lost rights as well as to fight for their interests. He was also glad to note that SAPP had now more Bumiputera than Chinese members.
Present at the function were SAPP President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Supreme Councillors, advisers, invited guests and member delegates and observers to the party’s general meeting.