Call on Defence Ministry to explain why Tun Mustapha was allowed the use of RMAF helicopter for campaigning in the Ulu Padas parliamentary by-election in Sabah.

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Wednesday, 23.10.1985:

Call on Defence Ministry to explain why Tun Mustapha was allowed the use of RMAF helicopter for campaigning in the Ulu Padas parliamentary by-election in Sabah.

In the recent Ulu Padas Parliamentary by-election in Sabah which was won by PBS candidate, State Local Government and Housing Minister, Kadoh Agundong, the USNO President, Tun Mustapha, used a RMAF helicopter during the campaign in aid of the Berjaya candidate.

The Defence Ministry should explain to Malaysians why Tun Mustapha was allowed the use of the RMAF helicopter, whose decision was it, and whether this was not a gross abuse of public funds. Malaysians will remember that the former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was disqualified as a MP in the early 1970s when she was found guilty of election offence in using Indian Government aircraft for her campaigning after her first term as Prime Minister.

Tun Mustapha is not even a government official, and his use of RMAF helicopter is all the more baffling, Did Tun Mustapha rent the use of the RMAF helicopter for his campaigning, and is RMAF helicopters available for hire by any political party during election campaigns?

I hope that the Defence Ministry will answer this question in keeping with the 2M Government’s pledge of an open and accountable administration.

2. DAP Central Executive Committee gravely concerned at the new property assessment rate increased proposed by Batu Pahat West District Council which violate Constitutional right of Malaysians against racial discrimination

I have received complaints from DAP Branches in the Batu Pahat district in connection with the proposed new property assessment rates announced by the Batu Pahat West District Council, which want to increase property taxes as high as 1,000 per cent.

But what is even more shocking, the Batu Pahat West District Council is introducing for the first time discriminatory assessment rates between what are termed as ‘bumiputera’ properties and ‘non-bumiputera properties’ – where ‘bumiputera properties’ would be allowed ‘discounts’ of between 25to 50 per cent of the increased rates.

With the approach of 1990, the end of the 20-year perspective plan of the New Economic Policy, the people are being led to believe by Barisan Nasional parties that NEP policies of ‘bumiputera-isation’, of bumiputera percentages and quotas, would come to an end – and that all Malaysians would ceased to be divided into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras.

But from the Batu Pahat West District Council announcement, it would indicate that come 1990, the ‘bumiputera-isation’ policy would not only continue, it would be taken to new levels unheard of it the past.

The Johore MCA had said that the creation of the new classification of ‘bumiputera properties’ and non-bumiputera properties’ was decided by the Johore State Executive Council. This means it had the support of the MCA and Gerakan Executive Councillors and Assemblymen, in particular the Tan Koen Swan MOC faction who is in control of the elected Assemblymen in Johore.

The creation of the new division of ‘bumiputera properties’ and ‘non-bumiputeras properties’ with different assessment rates is clearly violation of the Malaysian Constitutional guarantee against racial discrimination among Malaysian citizens, and is therefore unconstitutional, unlawful and void.

The DAP Central Executive Committee takes a very grave view of the unconstitutional action of the Batu Pahat West District Council, and demand that the District Council, the Johore Executice Council and Johore Assembly, should immediately withdraw and cancel the classification of properties into ‘bumiputera properties’ and non-bumiputera properties’.

If such a classification is allowed unchallenged, it will then be spreed to other part of Johore, and throughout the country.

I understand that the Batu Pahat West District Council had given Oct.24 as the deadline for the submission of appeals. The time given is not only ridiculous short, but in view of the unconstitutional basis of the classification into ‘bumiputeras properties’ and ‘non-bumputeras properties’, the
ratepayers should actually boycott the whole exercise as a sign of protest.

In any event, the DAP is following the Batu Pahat West District Council development closely, and will launch a multiple-prong campaign to protest and challenge the classification or properties into ‘bumiputera properties’ and ‘non-bumiputera properties’.

I will be getting in touch with the Johore DAP Chairman, Sdr. S. K. Song, and Johore DAP State leaders on the strategy to be taken to fight the latest erosion of rights of Malaysians to full equality and justice in our own country.