KOTA KINABALU, 22 Sept 2008: Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiat, whose Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has pulled out of the Barisan Nasional (BN), is to remain a Sabah deputy chief minister and minister of infrastructure development pending a decision on his status by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Tan said he handed in his letter of resignation to Musa today but was told by Musa to keep the two posts pending his (Musa’s) decision.
Musa had said yesterday he wanted to discuss the matter with component parties of the BN.
“I have submitted my letter. But he (Musa) was actually advising me that I should avoid the word ‘resignation’. I have explained to him the situation that I face at the moment.
“Musa told me I am still the deputy chief minister and infrastructure development minister until such time he makes his decision,” Tan told reporters after the meeting with Musa at his office in Wisma Innoprise, here.
Tan said he would leave it to the prerogative of Musa as the chief minister to decide on his position and that he would accept any decision on goodwill.
He said the position he was in at the moment was rather peculiar and Musa did not want it to be seen that he was resigning from his posts, as he had been instructed to do by SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
“He has asked me to continue (with) my work. In my position at the moment, you would probably read it, in my case, whether there would be an independent BN candidate, independent in the sense of not being attached to any component party,” he said.
Tan said that though SAPP had left the BN, he and those concerned were still considered elected BN assemblyperson unless any of them decided to join the another party.
“I actually have a few meetings in my office with my heads of department, to tell them of whatever the developments in the context of politics. I do not want any work in the departments to stop.
“I have insisted that we will achieve our targets in terms of the projects that are already planned for this year,” he added.
When asked if Musa had advised him to take leave, Tan replied: “No, I am not taking leave; I have a lot of work to do.”
He said that at the brief meeting, which lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes, he and Musa also discussed the illegal immigrants’ issue which had been raised by the SAPP, and the issue of workers’ levy which is felt to be a burden to employers in the recruitment of labour.
Asked if they also talked about the formation of a new party, he said there was no such discussion.
Earlier, Tan joined Musa at a presentation of Hari Raya Aidilfitri goodies to security forces here.
Musa, when met at that function, reiterated that he would have discussions with BN component parties before deciding on Tan’s status but said that they would take their time.
“We are not in a hurry to take action. I cannot make the decision now,” Musa said, adding that until then Tan would remain in the Cabinet. – Bernama