Published on: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee has accepted former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh's challenge to a public debate and hopes the latter won't later provide excuses.
"Just as in August 1998 when I had accepted Harris' challenge to a public debate on the Amanah Rakyat issue, today I accept the open challenge from Harris to another debate.
"Only that this time, I sincerely hope Harris will not repeat what he did in 1998 in backing out of the debate when he cited lack of police permit and official files as his reasons for cancelling the much anticipated debate, to the great disappointment of the people," he said in a statement, Wednesday.
Fast forward to 2013, he said Harris, who did not explain why he as ex-CM then did not refer the oil agreement to the Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting on June 14, 1976 before signing the agreement very soon after, now blames Sabah MPs for not raising the 20 per cent oil royalty in Parliament.
"I hereby accept Harris's open challenge to a public debate on the oil issue and other public-interest issues that he can raise. Harris may pick the organiser, moderator, place, date and time, preferably as soon as possible.
"1 do hope Harris will add to the list of public interest issues, like the rampant issuance of ICs, a matter which he has refused to testify when recalled to the RC1 recently.
"Harris should find no difficulty in also debating other public interest issues like the '1985 power grab at the lstana', the 1986 riots leading to the Karamunsing fire and the federalisation of Labuan in 1984," he said.