Press Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Malacca on Saturday, August 25, 1984 at 11 a.m.
(1) As sure as the sun rises every day. I’ll fly to Kota Kinabalu enroute to Sandakan tomorrow to keep the Sandakan date of August 26;
(2) Lim Kit Siang accepts second Harris Salleh challenge and would make direct accusation that he had breached the Sabah State Constitution to allow him to take legal when in Sandakan on Monday
As sure as the sun rises every day, I’ll fly to Kota Kinabalu tomorrow morning from the Subang International airport enroute to Sandakan to keep the Sandakan date of August 26 at the Dewan Masyarakat Sandakan to repeat my entire parliamentary speech on July on the Committee of Privileges Report on Fung Ket Wing-Harris Salleh over Labuan Land.
Datuk Harris Salleh’s announcement yesterday calling off the Sandakan appointment is invalid, null and void, and therefore of no effect. The Sandakan appointment between Datuk Harris Salleh and me is definitely still on. Datuk Harris Salleh has no power or right to unilaterally cancel a solemn arrangement which both of us had concluded in public, with its terms clearly spelt out. It is just like a contract, which once concluded, no single party could unilaterally cancel. What is left is only performance or default. Datuk Harris Salleh must not think that just because he is Sabah Chief Minister, he has the power or right to do anything.
Datuk Harris’s statement is a most remarkable political document, for in my 18-year political experience, I have not come across a statement which contain so many falsehoods, and there is so much turning, twisting and distortion!
Datuk Harris Salleh should not try to rewrite the history of the Sandakan date on August 26, for it is still very frresh in public minds. In Penang on August 1, I challenged Datuk Harris Salleh to the place, date and time and I would repeat my parliamentary speech on him on July 23. I never made any mention about Fung Ket Wing (MP for Sandakan) or Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (MP for Kepong). Immediately, on the next day, he accepted my challenge and named Sandakan on August 26 at 10 a.m. for me to repeat my parliamentary speech. I confirmed acceptance on August 4.
Why is he backing out of the Sandakan date? Why then challenge me to go Sandakan on August 26 at 10 a.m. to repeat my parliamentary speech?
Datuk Harris Salleh said I had failed to confirm or accept his offer in a letter to me on August 7. Firstly, I never received any letter from Datuk Harris Salleh. One person by the name of, who claims to be the Political Secretary of the Chief Minister, did write to me, but as I had publicly announced, I would not enter into my correspondence with any third party who had nothing to do with Sandakan appointment which is strictly between Datuk Harris and myself.
Secondly, by August 7, the entire Sandakan date has already been publicly concluded, and neither him nor me could raise any new terms or conditions.
Datuk Harris Salleh said I had not defamed him in my Parliamentary speech on July 23. I had said in Parliamentary that Datuk Harris Salleh was ‘shifty, evasive and far from honest and sincere’ in his appearance before the Committee of Privileges. I am glad he agreed with my strictures on him. In any event, if he is not afraid of my repeating my parliamentary speech, why challenge me by naming Sandakan and August 26 in the first place? In the second place, why ban me from Sandakan?
Datuk Harris Salleh said ‘this is a free and democratic country’ and I was free to repeat my speeches and accusations against him ‘anywhere and anytime’. I am taking his word seriously, and am going to repeat it in Sandakan on August 26 at 10 a.m. Why is Datuk Harris Salleh intent on making Malaysia a ‘unfree and undemocratic’ country, where I could not repeat it in Sandakan on August 26?
Yesterday, Datuk Harris Salleh threw a second challenge at me, asking me to make direct accusations that he had breached the Sabah State Constitution by being a director of at least three companies, as Article 6(5) of the Sabah Constitution prohibits the Sabah Chief Minister from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise. He said he wanted to have the opportunity to take me to court.
I accept the second Harris Salleh challenge, and announce that in Sandakan on August 26, I would publicly and direct accuse him of breaching the Sabah State Constitution Article 6(5) for being a director of at least three companies when the Constitution prohibits the Chief Minister from being actively engaged in any commercial enterprise.
Advice Datuk Harris Salleh not to sully Dr. Mahathir Mohamed’s good name by trying to use him to justify his unconstitutional action
Datuk Harris Salleh claimed that his directorships of three companies had been reported to the Prime Minister in his declaration of assets and that the Prime Minister was fully aware of the position.
In his desperation, Datuk Harris Salleh is now trying to use the name of Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to justify his unconstitutional action. I would advised Datuk Harris Salleh to guard the good name of the Prime Minister and not to sully Dr. Mahathir’s image, for I do not believe that the Prime Minister would have authorised and condoned Datuk Harris Salleh to breach the Sabah State Constitution. No one, even the Prime Minister, has such power or authority to allow.
Datuk Harris Salleh should apologise to the Prime Minister and to the country for dragging Dr. Mahathir’s name into the affairs.
As Parliament would be meeting for the budget on beginning on Oct. 8, I will ask the Prime Minister a question as to what Datuk Harris Salleh claimed is true. allow the Sabah Chief Minister to violate the Sabah Constitution.