Emergency Parliament Session on the Sabah issue and an All-Party Foreign Affairs Consultative and Advisory Committee

The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement (2.10.68):

It has taken the Alliance government two weeks to think of the Parliament and convene an emergency session over the Sabah issue.

For two weeks after President Marcos had signed the Sabah Annexation Bill into law, the Alliance Government was more interested in organizing rallies and protest demonstrations than in calling Parliament to allow the elected representatives of Malaysia to state their views.

All Malaysians must condemn President Marcos for his attempt to grab Sabah in a bid to boost his chances for Presidential re-election, in utter disregard of the harm his action has done to South-East Asian co-operation, peace and harmony.

The DAP calls on all MPs to let President Marcos know in no uncertain terms that all Malaysians are united in their condemnation of the Philippines land-grabbing act, and will resist and repel any attempt at the physical take-over of Sabah.

The DAP from the first unreservedly deplored and denounced the Philippines land-grabbing act.

But we must caution the Alliance government against over-reacting to the Philippines action, and from being tempted to make the Sabah issue into an electioneering vote-getting stunt.

There are Alliance election strategists who are trying to invent an issue which could perform the role of the Indonesian Confrontation issue in the 1964 general elections, which gave the Alliance a huge vote. These Alliance strategists are advocating that the government should hot up the Sabah issue so that the Alliance government could use it as an issue to rally the people round the ruling party, hold snap general elections, and get an overwhelming majority.

Already, in the Segamat Utara by-election, the Alliance speakers are trying to use the Sabah issue to get votes for the Alliance, by falsely claiming that the DAP was not opposed to the Sabah Annexation Act.

We must caution the Alliance government against turning the Sabah issue into an Alliance election stunt, because if they do this, then they would have degraded Tunku Abdul Rahman to the position of President Marcos, as men who are prepared to throw South East Asian peace and harmony to the winds just to get political advantage in their own country. Such an action will only lead to the escalation of the deterioration of friendship between two countries, and pose a serious threat to peace in this region.

All political parties represented in Parliament have condemned the Sabah Annexation Act. There should not be any attempt, therefore, to try to divide the people over the issue.

As foreign policy is a subject which affects the whole nation and people, we suggest that in a country practicing parliamentary democracy, the ruling party should consult and inform opposition parties on every major foreign policy decision.

We therefore call for the setting up of an All-Party Foreign Affairs Consultative and Advisory Committee, so that the government and opposition parties can have a fruitful exchange of views and ideas on every major foreign affairs development affecting the country. Those who are interested to see the unity of Malaysians against all external threats and enemies must welcome such a proposal.

Audited by: Ernest W. & Kieran L. N.