Press conference to release an open letter to the Sabah Chief Minister

Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP Secretary General, Lim Kit Siang, at a press conference held at DAP Headquarters, Petaling Jaya, on 23.8.1984

I am calling this press conference to release an open letter to the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, which had been cabled to him this morning, giving five reasons why he should lift the ban on my entry into Sabah via Kota Kinabalu.

My open letter reads:

“YAB Datuk Harris Salleh,
Chief Minister,
Sabah. 23rd August 1984

YAB Chief Minister,

Five reasons why you should lift the ban on my entry into Sabah via Kota Kinabalu

In response to your dare, I challenged you at a Penang Press Conference on 1st August, 1984, to name the place, date and time for me to repeat my entire Parliamentary speech during the debate on the Fung Ket Wing-Harris Salleh report of the Committee of Privileges on 23rd July, 1984.

You accepted my challenge the very next day, naming Sandakan Dewan Masyarakat on August 27 at 10 a.m., and I confirmed that I would be at the place, date and time you had fixed to repeat my entire Parliamentary speech of 23rd July, 1984.

You even suggested that I enter Sabah by the back door, via Labuan or Sarawak on the ground that I am still banned via Kota Kinabalu.

From your recent statements, and those of your underlings, you seemed to have now panicked over the Sandakan date of your own fixing, and you are now trying to find a way to wriggle out of the appointment.

Your political Secretary, Douglas Lind, had earlier written and now cabled me about the Sandakan date of August 27. I will not enter into any correspondence or exchange cables with Douglas Lind, who has no locus stand in a matter which is strictly between you and me, and does not involve any third party.

The whole Sandakan date and its terms had been concluded in public – the challenge, the acceptance of the challenge and confirmation of the Sandakan appointment of August 27. It is now too late for you or me to raise new terms and conditions, and there is no place for any third party to intrude into a matter which strictly concerns the both of us.

You may now regret challenging me to the Sandakan date but it is too late. It is like a conclusion of a contract. You might have thought that you will make $100 million by entering into a contract but after it had been signed, sealed and concluded, you found that you would in fact lose $100 million. There is nothing you can do about it. All that is left is for performance or default.

You may want Saudara Fung Ket Wing (DAP MP for Sandakan) and Saudara Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (DAP MP for Kepong) but this is an entirely a separate matter which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sandakan date between you and me.

Douglas Lind may cancel whatever arrangements or anything he wants, for as far as I am concerned, he is just a “busybody”. I have had no dealings with him in the past or the present. I hold you personally responsible defaulted in your bravado challenge of fixing the date, place and time for me to repeat my Parliamentary speech.

You can of course try to chicken out of the Sandakan date by banning me from entering into Sabah, as I had given you public notice that I would enter Sabah by the front door via Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, August 26 and not by the back door as you suggested.

I wish to give you five reasons why you should not prohibit my entry into Sabah via Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, August 26;

Firstly, banning ma would be a state, national and international testimony of your default from the Sandakan date of August 27 at 10 a.m. which was fixed by you for me to repeat my Parliamentary speech. If you are so afraid of my repeating my Parliamentary speech of July 23, why then did you name Sandakan as the place, August 27 as the date, 10 a.m. as the time for me to repeat my Parliamentary speech?

Secondly, banning me would me would mean that you are afraid that if I enter Sabah, I would demand that you explain your breach of the Sabah State Constitution. As you yourself know, you have violated Articles 6(5) of the Sabah State Constitution which prohibits the Chief Minister from actively engaging in commercial enterprises but during your tenure as Sabah Chief Minister, you were a director of at least three companies, namely:

i) Dua Bersaudara Sdn. Bhd.
ii) Empat Bersaudari Sdn. Bhd.
iii) Sejati Sdn. Bhd.

Your ban on me could only mean that you have no answer to my charge that by violating the Sabah State Constitution, you are the worst example of the 2M government’s mottos of “Leadership By Example” and “Clean, Efficient, and Trustworthy” administration.

Thirdly, you would again be abusing your powers as Sabah Chief Minister. You should know that immigration autonomy was granted to Sabah and Sarawak to protect local employment and not to permit the Sabah Chief Minister to treat the state like his personal fiefdom where prostitutes, ladies of fortune and Filipino refugees could freely enter but not political leaders or even MPs.

Fourthly, the ban will be a most anti-Malaysia action for it would go against the entire national integration process and policy of the country to bring Malaysian of various races, religions and territory closer together instead of perpetuating their separateness.

Fifthly, the ban would be an anti-national act for it would be a major blot to Malaysia’s international image and standing. Malaysia’s international reputation had suffered badly recently with the mishandling of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra issue where a musical item had undone all the hard work of the various investment missions to the United States led either by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or other Cabinet ministers to woo US investors to Malaysia. If you ban me on Sunday on the ground that the Parliamentary Opposition Leader could only enter Sabah by the back door and not by the front door, the world would think that Malaysia is led by leaders who are most unreasonable with peculiar notions of what is right and wrong.

Our beloved country will be celebrating its 27th National Day in eight days’ time and I hopo that we can take the opportunity to show Malaysians and the world that we have mature and responsible leaders both at Federal and State levels.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to Clause 67 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 which provides that the restriction on a Malaysian’s right of entry into Sabah shall not have effect if the entry is “for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity, but the burden of proof that a person is entitled to enter the East Malaysian states under this section shall lie on him.”

I am giving you notice that my entry into Sabah on August 26 is “for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity” in my capacity as Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Member of Parliament of Malaysia and DAP Secretary General, to keep the Sandakan date fixed by you as well as to visit DAP branches, meet DAP members and supporters to survey the progress of the DAP in Sabah and to make preparations for the forthcoming Sabah State General Elections.

I have no other interest or any other capacity for my entry into Sabah on August 26 except “for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate political activity” and my credentials should provide adequate proof of my intentions.

I am also giving you notice that if you ban me from entering Sabah via Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, August 26, you will have to justify the legality and constitutionality of your actions in the courts.

Yours sincerely,

(Lim Kit Siang)
Parliamentary Opposition Leader
DAP Secretary General”

DAP calls on British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to conclude an agreement for MAS to have a fifth weekly frequency flight to London during her September visit to Malaysia

The DAP calls on the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, to break the deadlock between the British and Malaysian authorities over a fifth weekly frequency flight for MAS to London during her official visit to Malaysia next month.

The British refusal to grant MAS a fifth flight to London is most unreasonable and protectionist, Malaysia has a strong and irrefutable case for an extra flight to London as some 50,000 passengers a year flying from Kuala Lumpur to London, of which 30,000 are Malaysians, had to use other points to travel to London because of inadequate frequency flights to London.

The securing of an extra flight for MAS to London must be seen as an important part of the battle to correct the gigantic problem of Balance of Payments deficit, which is estimated to total $5.8 billion this year. But the Services of Invisible Deficit is estimated to reach the record-high of $9.5 billion this year.

The DAP gives full support to the Malaysian Government stand for a fifth MAS flight to London weekly to correct the economic imbalance between the United Kingdom and Malaysia. Margaret Thatcher should come to Malaysia next month to conclude an agreement for MAS to have an extra flight to London to demonstrate Britain’s sincerity in wanting to have sound economic relations with Malaysia.

Call for release of the BMF inquiry interim report before August 31 to give substance to the National Day theme ‘Amanah Asas Kejayaan’

Early this month, the chairman of the Committee Inquiring into the $2,500 million Bumiputra Malaysia Finance loans scandal in Hong Kong, Tan Sri Dr. Ahmad Nordin Haji Zakaria, said that the committee’s interim report would be finalised and submitted by the end of the month.

The BMF Inquiring Committee report is not a private document, either of Bank Bumiputra or the Malaysian document, but should be made public simultaneously with its submission to Bank Bumiputra, as the Malaysian public have a right to know the results of the inquiry.

There should be no attempt either by Bank Bumiputra or the Government to vet the report before making it public, for there should be no more attempt at any ‘cover up’ or to stop ‘heads rolling’ in the BMF loans scandal which the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had condemned as a ‘heinous crime’.

The National Day theme this year is ‘Amanah Asas Kejayaan’. The publication of the BMF inquiry committee interim report before August 31 would make the National Day theme a meaningful one for it would be giving it immediate substance and meaning. Otherwise, it would join all the previous National Day themes which are immediately forgotten after the fanfare and publicity on National Day, leaving no impression or influence on the country and people at large.

DAP wants Anti-Corruption Agency to be more innovative and dynamic in fighting corruption

Corrupt Road Transport Department officers and police personnel who victimise lorry operators and motorists by demanding bribes at various check-points, road-blocks or hide-outs, is an open secret.

For the ACA or the government authorities to claim ignorance and to demand evidence is only to reduce the ACA and the government’s credibility in public mind about its professed commitment to fight corruption and to build a clean, honest and trustworthy government.

For the ACA, an agency specially established to combat and eliminate corruption, to be helpless in the face of open and rampant corruption, the question immediately arises as to whether it is playing any useful role.

The country wants a more innovative and dynamic ACA, whose officers would go out of their air-conditioned offices to combat corruption, and not just wait for the people to come and make reports.

For instance, an innovative and dynamic ACA would have sent its personnel to accompany lorry operators and other vehicles to catch the corrupt RTD officers and police personnel red-handed in their acti of corruption, instead of allowing this corruption to become so rampant, blatant and open.

The campaign of the Pan-Malaysian Lorry Owners’ Association, and in particular its chairman, Puan Zainab Yang, to expose the ‘corrupt’ RTD men hounding lorry operators deserve the full support of all Malaysians, and in particular the ACA – which must play a more active role to fight corruption, and not expect others to prove corruption and do the work of the ACA for them!