Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Petaling Jaya Old Town Branch Tea- Party held at the Petaling Jaya Civics Centre on Saturday, 2.4.1983 at 8 p.m.
Call on the 2M leadership to check and curb the high- handed and dictatorial ways of Datuk Harris Salleh which has become a great embarrassment for Malaysia in the world.
The ban imposed by the Sabah Chief Minister , Datuk Harris Salleh, on the Bernama and New Straits Times from all official Sabah government functions and press conferences is only the latest in a series of Datuk Harris, high- handed and dictatorial ways which have become a source of acute embarrassment to Malaysia in the world.
It is fortunate that Datuk Harris Salleh is only the Chief Minister of a state in Malaysia, or otherwise, he would wreak even greater havoc with his abuse of powers.
Datuk Harris Salleh ban on Sdr. Lee Lam Thye and myself from visiting Sabah in connection with our DAP activities is the most glaring example of the anti-democratic nature of the Sabah Chief Minister.
Even my transit through Labuan enroute on my way back to Kuala Lumpur from Miri, Sarawak in January caused Datuk Harris Salleh and this official no peace.
Although constitutionally, the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, could not take action against the Chief Minister of Sabah, as President and Deputy President of Barisan Nasional, of which Parti Berjaya is a component party, the 2M leaders could discipline Datuk Harris Salley for this total disregard for basic democratic norms and principles.
So long as Datuk Harris Salleh continues in his utter disregard of the basic democratic and constitutional rights of Mlaysians, whether of the people of Sabah or other parts of Malysia, he is bringing Malaysia into international disrepute. Where, for instance, is there another country practising parliamentary democracy where is there another country practicing parliamentary democracy where an elected Menber of Parliament in denied entry into his own country, as in Sabah.
I therefore call on the 2M leaders to take firm action, for the good name of Malaysia, to check and curb the high-handed and dictatorial ways of Datuk Harris Salleh so that he will not continue to be source of international embarrassment for Malaysia.
When Parti Berjaya toppled Tun Mustapaha’s USNO Government it attacked Tun Mustapha regime of rampant corruption, and demanded for a Commission of Inquiry into corruption in the State.
After Datuk Harris Salleh’s Chief Ministership for seven years, the allegations of rampant corruption in Sabah is now insistent, if not even greater, than during the Tun Mustapha era. This is most incompatible with a era ‘ Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ government advocated by the 2M Government, and in the interests of public confidence in the integrity, morality and incorruptibility of the Sabah State Government, I call on the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, to agree to the commissioning of a high- powered Royal Commision of Inquiry into Corrupt Fractices in Sabah during the reign of the Berjaya government.
A clean and honest government would have nothing to fear from such a wide- ranging inquiry, but would on the contrary, welcome such an opportunity to clear its name and prove its clean and incorrupt record.