A Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General ` and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at a ceramah organised by the SEAPARK DAP Branch in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 3.1.l985 at 8pm.
DAP calls on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to remove Harris Salleh As Sabah Chief Minister for the repeated dishonour he had brought to Malaysia in international circles by his excesses and abuses of power.
Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, had again tarnished Malaysia’s international image by his abuses and excesses of power, when he abolished Tambunan’s status as a district, and the closure of all government departments in the area, when the Berjaya candidate was decisively defeated in the Tambunan by-election last Saturday.
The Berjaya candidate, Roger Ongkili, who is the younger brother of the Minister of Justice, Datuk James Ongkili, polled only 637 votes while the Independent candidate, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan , won by a landslide with 3,685 votes.
The Tambunan by-election result is a resounding vote of no confidence in the Berjaya government of Datuk Harris Salleh, but it is no reason for the Sabah government to go on a rampage of political revenge by abolishing Tambunan’s district status and the withdrawal of government services.
lf in the next Sabah state general elections, the Berjaya state government loses one-third of the State Assembly constituencies, is Datuk Harris Salleh going to ‘ banish’ one-third of Sabah State, or allow them to declare Independence, as the Berjaya State Government is disclaiming responsibility for their welfare?
Datuk Harris Salleh’s reaction and attitude is not only childish and immature, but positively dangerous and anti-democratic, for he is denying the voters the free choice to elect opposition candidates. If this is the philosophy of Datuk Harris Salleh, then he should declare Sabah as a One-Party State whereby Sabah voters have the right to cast their votes on polling day only for the ruling party candidate!
Datuk Harris Salleh’s latest political tantrums have tarnished Malaysia’s international image, I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to remove Datuk Harris Salleh from office as Sabah Chief Minister, if he is not prepared to behave as a democratic leader and abide by the verdict of the•people.
Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan`s electoral victory in Tambunan has created a new political situation in Sabah, and the next general elections for the Sabah State government, which must be held by April next year, is now capable of producing unpredictable results. This is why the Sabah Chief Minister is panicking. Datuk Harris Salleh should learn from the by-election results to carry out a drastic review and change of Berjaya State government policies, especially to stop the rampant corruption in the State, the lawlessness and social threat of illegal Filipino refugees and Indonesian immigrants, the abuses and excesses of powers by government leaders.
This is the only way the Berjaya Party in Sabah might regain Fast-eroding public support. If the Berjaya government and Datuk Harris Salleh continue to be high-handed and dictatorial, punishing the voters for exercising their democratic right as guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution, then they are only speeding the downfall of the Berjaya government, as happened to the USNO government of Tun Mustapha in 1976.
All Malaysians must be concerned by the show of high-handedness and violation of democratic principles in Sabah, for we are all Malaysians and must be concerned about what is happening in any part of Malaysia. Let all Malaysians send a message to Datuk Harris Salleh, that he should stop playing the role of a Big Bully, but be a gentleman to accept gracefully the verdict of the voters.