Will USNO be responsible to compensate Sabahans for the loss of life and property arising from the week-long demonstration, bomb explosions, arson and riot?

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 23.3.1986:

Will USNO be responsible to compensate Sabahans for the loss of life and property arising from the week-long demonstration, bomb explosions, arson and riot?

Yesterday, the situation in Sabah continued to be grim and tense. There were two bomb blasts in Kota Kinabalu, damaging two cars, an attempted arson to set fire to a row of shop-houses at Kota Marudi, and the defusing of a time-bomb in Sandakan.

This must be a clear message to the Police and the Federal authorities that those who had been responsible for the demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and riot in Sabah since March 12, are still determine to continue with their organised campaign of agitation and escalation of fear, insecurity, unrest and violence.

The police must answer this very evident challenge to the law and order in Sabah by sending reinforcements to boost up the police strength, so that there is a greater physical police presence visible in the State. This will go a long way to convince Sabahans that the Police means business this time to protect life and property from the rioters, arsonist and ‘bomb planters’.

Since March 12, 31 bombs had exploded, killing one person and injuring 14 others. Police have recovered 14 unexploded bombs, one in the State mosque.

This spate of 45 bombs in a period of 10 days in various parts of Sabah is not a coincidence, but part of a calculated plot to bomb and blast away the democratic process in Sabah.

What is the Police doing to apprehend the ‘Masterminds’ of these bomb blasts in Sabah, before more bombs are set off, killing and injuring more people. Has the Police absolutely no clue after 10 days and 45 bombs as to who is behind the bombing plot? Those who plant the bombs are small fries, and the Police must go for the people who direct the entire bombing operation.

Bukit Aman should send over a high-level investigative team to ferret the bomb masterminds. The bomb explosions are clearly part of an organised plan to agitate and escalate fear, instability and violence in Sabah, and for this reason, the Police should be able to get clues as to the identities of the masterminds in the spate of bomb explosions from those responsible for the demonstration, arson and riot.

In the Kota Kinabalu riot of March 19, 676 demonstrators surrendered at the mosque on Thursday. Out of these, 521 were Filipino ‘refugees’. The next day, on Friday, the rest of the demonstrators surrendered themselves to the police, and the overwhelming majority of them are Filipino ‘refugees’.

USNO’s legal adviser, Encik Razak Rouse, has said: he had notified police the USNO would stand bail for all those detained throughout the State.

This is an open admission of responsibility by USNO for the organised campaign of agitation and escalation of fear, insecurity,, instability, unrest and violence. Such an open undertaking is also an encouragement to the Filipino ‘refugees’ to be prepared to continue their demonstration and rioting.

At a time when there is so much tension in Sabah, any such statement must be condemned as utterly irresponsible. The Police should summon and question Razak Rouse on USNO’s role in the demonstration and rioting, and hold him and USNO responsible for the loss of lives and property.

As USNO is publicly assuming responsibility for the over one thousand people arrested or detained by the police in connection with the week-long demonstrations and rioting, is USNO going to be responsible to compensate Sabahans for the loss of life and property arising from the week-long demonstration, bomb blasts, arson and riot?

The immediate target of the ‘masterminds’ of the organised campaign of agitation and escalation of fear and violence is the Elections Commission, to create conditions to justify the Elections Committee to defer setting firm dates for the Sabah State General Elections on Wednesday, March 26.

The Elections Commission must not be blackmailed into yielding to the objectives of these perpetrators of fear and violence in Sabah, but must set and immediately announce firm dates for Nomination Day and Polling for the Sabah state general elections.

Ling Liong Sik and MCA Minister downright irresponsible in agreeing to OSA Amendment Bill without narrowing the definition of ‘official secret’

MCA Minister, Ling Liong Sik, sadi the definition of ‘secret’ in the 1972 Official Secrets Act should be made clear. Why then did Ling Liong Sik and the MCA Minister agree to the Official Secrets Act amendment bill which makes it a mandatory minimum one-year jail for any offence under the Act before the definition of ‘secret’ had been clarified?

The Cabinet acts on the principle of unanimity. If there is any one Minister who opposes any proposed Bill and measure, the Cabinet had to drop the proposal. Why didn’t Ling Liong Sik and MCA Ministers speak up at the Cabinet on the OSA Bill?

What the Cabinet should do on Wednesday at its weekly meeting is to formally withdraw the OSA Bill from Parliament, agree to the establishment of a Select Committee to canvas public views on the Official Secrets Act, so that the whole question of an open and accountable government could be fully debated.

Is Ling Liong Sik and MCA Minister prepared to ask Cabinet to withdraw the OSA Bill until definition of ‘secret’ had been clarified, narrowed and specified to information involving sensitive defence or security secrets only?