Lim Kit Siang cables Harris Salleh to invite him to the Sept. 3 date at Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur, offering to pay for his return fare

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, 29.8.1984:

Lim Kit Siang cables Harris Salleh to invite him to the Sept. 3 date at Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur, offering to pay for his return fare

I had yesterday cabled from Penang to the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, officially inviting him to the Sept. 3 date at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur at 8 p.m. to listen to my repeat of my Parliamentary speech on him on July 23.

I had also stated in the cable that I am prepared to pay for his return fare, including first-class, to enable him to attend the Sept. 3 date.

At the Sept. 3 date, the DAP will give a full and detailed explanation as to why we are launching the Defend Sabah State Constitution campaign, and its importance and significance not only to Sabahans but also to all Malaysians.

Former Berjaya vice president and State Minster, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, for instance, had explained that he resigned from Berjaya because the Sabah State Government under Datuk Harris Salleh had violated the Sabah Constitution with regard to the preservation and promotion of the traditional culture and customs of the indigenous people in Sabah.

The DAP had from Registry of Companies Records proved that Datuk Harris Salleh had breached Article 6(5) of the Sabah State Constitution which prohibits the Sabah Chief Ministry from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise at least three times.

I had asked him to state the total number of times he had violated Article 6(5) by stating the number of companies he was a director during his tenure as Sabah Chief Minister from 1976 to 1984, but Datuk Harris Salleh had continued to evade the question.

I would advise Datuk Harris Salleh not to hide behind the Prime Minister instead of accounting clearly and fully to the people of Sabah and Malaysia the number of companies he was a director during his eight years as Sabah Chief Minister.

Datuk Harris Salleh should know that the National Day theme this year is ‘Trust as the Foundation of Success’. How could the government succeed in promoting the National Day theme, to ensure that trust is one of the principles of life and a key to success, if top political leaders at Federal or State government level refuses to demonstrate their trustworthiness by being accountable for their actions to the people, the state and country?

About 1,000 people would be attending the National Day Parade at the Municipal Padang at Kota Kinabalu on Friday, including Datuk Harris Salleh. He should give meaning and substance to the National Day theme by disclosing all the companies he was director during his tenure as Sabah Chief Minister, before the National Day Parade in Kota Kinabalu. Otherwise, when he stands at the National Day Parade on Friday, he would be a public reminder of the failure of the National Day Theme!

Government’s stand on Civil Law Amendment Bill highly regrettable

The government stand on the Civil Law Amendment Bill, as stated by the Justice Minister, Datuk Dr. James Ongkili, that it should be enforced first before the Government takes another look at it, is highly regrettable.

The government is setting a bad ‘leadership by example’ of not prepared to admit its mistakes.

This would cause great distress, sufferings and hardships to the ordinary Malaysians, for once the Amendment Bill becomes law, it will be operative immediately, governing personal injuries claims which are beneficial only for insurance companies and a gross injustice for the accident victims.

Datuk James Ongkili and the Government should realise that the Civil Law Amendment Bill cannot be compared to the Societies Amendment Bill and the Constitution Amendment Bill 1983 which were enforced before they were amended.

This is because the Societies Amendment Bill and Constitution Amendment Bills contained administrative and regulatory provisions which could be held in abeyance pending subsequent amendment, and do not directly affect the monetary claims and rights of ordinary Malaysians.

The Civil Law Amendment Bill, once it is enforced, will immediately affect the monetary claims and rights of accident victims, and if it takes six months before the Civil Law Amendment Act is further amended, then for these six months, the accident victims would be placed in a most unfortunate category who would be the ‘guinea pigs’ of the Government’s ‘second look after enforcement’. If after the second look, the government amends the Civil Law Act to restore some of the financial claims and rights of accident victims, what remedy would those rights had already been adversely adjudicated in the interviewing period?

Or is the Government going to enact retrospective legislation? All in all, it is a most shocking way of enacting legislation in Malaysia!

The DAP is convinced that the Civil Law Amendment Bill must be sent back to the two Houses of Parliament for reconsideration before it is enforced. This is why we have written to the Istana seeking an audience for DAP MPs to present a petition asking that Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise his new constitutional powers to withhold Royal Assent and remit the Bill back to Parliament. I understand that the Istana has sought the advice of the Prime Minister’s Office on the letter by the DAP MPs.