Why Sabah police had obstructed the USAP from contesting the ELOPURA State by-election?

Statement by Opposition Leader and Secretary-General of DAP, Mr.Lim Kit Siang, at a Press Conference given by Incik Nuai Chin, Secretary-General of USAP at Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 17th August 1973 at 12 p.m.

Call on the new Home Affairs Minister, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, to inquire as to why Sabah police had obstructed the USAP from contesting the ELOPURA State by-election on August 4

All Malaysians, I am sure, share with me the sense of shock on hearing Incik Nuai Chin’s disclosure as to how the USAP was prevented from nominating its candidate, Dr. Yap Pak Chau, for the ELOPURA Sandakan State seat on August 4, enabling the Sabah Alliance candidate to have an uncontested walkover.

As Incik Nuai Chin rightly pointed out, such high-handed police action makes a mockery of the Alliance’s professed commitment to the building of a democratic society, as enshrined in the Rukun Negara principles.

Politically, Sabah is in the dark ages, where the basic individual freedoms of Malaysians are trodden upon with greater abandon than here. I have personally experienced this political tyranny of the Sabah authorities, where at the 1969 General Elections I was ordered to leave Sabah because of a mammoth public rally I attended in Kota Kinabalu.

Still fresh in my memory are other instances of political tyranny in Sabah. At the last general elections, all the opposition independent candidates were disqualified, enabling wholesale walkovers for Sabah Alliance candidates.

Now, we hear of the Sabah police openly blocking the USAP from nominating its candidate.

This is a serious state of affairs, and throws into doubt the integrity and independence of the Sabah Police as a non-political and neutral force for the maintenance of law and order.

The discovery of so-called subversive documents and the pistol smack of a planted operation. History is full of examples of how tyrants planted incidents to give them an excuse to eliminate the opposition. Thus Hilter burnt down the German Parliament in 1933 and claimed that this was the work of the communists, giving him an opportunity to eliminate both the communists and the democrats. Nearer home, in the 1930s, the Japanese militarists in Japan created incidents in Manchuria and Nanking to give them excuses for their aggression and atrocities.

The Malaysian Opposition takes a grave view of the ELOPURA affair, and I call on the new Minister of Home Affairs, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, to investigate into this serious matter and find out why the Sabah Police openly thwarted the USAP, a legally registered political party, from nominating its candidate for the ELOPURA seat. Tan Sri Ghazalie should take disciplinary action against all those Police Officers who had taken part in obstructing the democratic process and the denial of the democratic rights of the people of Sabah to exercise free choice as to who should be their elected representative. Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie must take action to restore the confidence of the people of Sabah with the Police Force, that it is impartial, independent, and not a strong-armed squad at the beck and call of the ruling party to stamp out democratic rights of the people through special branch planted operations.