If Police allow USNO members and supporters to hold demonstrations in mosques, will they also allow PAS members and supporters to hold demonstrations in mosques and Peninsular Malaysia?

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, March 17, 1986:

If Police allow USNO members and supporters to hold demonstrations in mosques, will they also allow PAS members and supporters to hold demonstrations in mosques and Peninsular Malaysia?

I commend the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, for making it clear that the demonstration in Sabah in the past few days are illegal. He must make it clear that the Police will not allow any group to escalate the tension, fear and insecurity in Sabah or to engineer religious conflict in the latest attempt to achieve their political objectives.

I am particularly concerned at the four-day hold-out of USNO and Berjaya members and supporters t the Kota Kinabalu State mosque, demonstrating against the PBS Government and Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Tan Sri Haniff Omar has said that police would not take action against the demonstration within the State mosque as long as it was peaceful and within the law.

I have been informed that the demonstrations in the State mosque put up anti-PBS Government and anti-Pairin banners, shouting and chanting, and also throw stones at passing motorists outside the mosque.

I want to ask the Police if they allow USNO and Berjaya members and supporters to hold themselves in at the Kota Kinabalu State mosque for days, and may be weeks, would they also allow PAS members and supporters to conduct similar type of demonstrations on other issues in mosques and suraus in Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah, Perlis and other states?

The Police should be aware that they are setting a dangerous precedent, and it should take immediate action to bring the demonstrations to an end.

There is already sufficient tension, fear, insecurity and instability in Sabah for the Police to be so generous to allow further demonstrations by people who had been responsible for the atmosphere of fear in Sabah.

In Kota Kinabalu, most schools are closed as parents cannot trust the safety of their children outside their homes. In Sandakan yesterday, after the two explosions, it virtually became a dead town.

The Police must take firm action, which must include the ending of the demonstration by USNO and Berjaya members and supporters in the State mosque at Kota Kinabalu.

It is now very clear that the Filipino refugees had played a major role in the recent five-day campaign of engineering fear, tension, unrest in Sabah since Wednesday. Although the Police had detained 706 Filipino refugees, this is not enough to check them from interfering in Sabah politics as the total number of Filipino refugees in Sabah is estimated at 300,000.

The time has come for the Sabah and Malaysian people to demand from the Malaysian Government strong action to repatriate the 300,000 Filipino refugees in Sabah, and to stop their lawlessness. USNO and Berjaya leaders who made use of Filipino refugees to further their political ambitions must be deplored for this tantamount to allowing foreigners to determine our own political future!

Why is UMNO afraid of a public debate on BMF Scandal and Final Report?

UMNO Secretary-General, Datuk Seri Sanusi Junid, expectedly rejected DAP’s challenge to UMNO to TV debates on the BMF Final Report, to justify Datuk Rais Yatim’s allegation that the Report was “lop-sided’, unfair and lacked credibility.”

Even if any UMNO leader dares to accept the DAP challenge to TV debates, the UMNO leaders will back down at the last minute as happened to the UMNO-PAS TV Debate in 1984 on the ‘kafir-mengafir’ issue.

Datuk Sanusi accused the DAP of aspiring to appear on TV and get publicity and that UMNO would not fall for this.

DAP is only interested in getting the truth out to the people, and not to permit UMNO to mislead the people further about the BMF scandal, and now the BMF Final Report.

If the UMNO leaders are so frightened of the DAP getting TV exposure, the DAP challenge the UMNO to a series of public debates away from television coverage, in every State capital in Malaysia – involving a whole series of 14 debates (including Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur).

If UMNO leaders are so confident about the rightness of their stand on the BMF Final Report, they should have no fear about the nation-wide series of DAP-UMNO debates on BMF.

But if they have things to hide, then I will understand their unpreparedness to be publicly exposed in the nation-wide series of DAP-UMNO debates on the BMF.

If the UMNO again turns down this new DAP challenge, then we must assume that there are no UMNO leaders who could stand up to defend the UMNO on the BMF Scandal and the BMF Final Report.