by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, April 7, 1986:
DAP calls on all Political Parties to agree to the amendment of Federal and State Constitutions to require defecting or resigning MPs or assemblymen to vacate their seats to end the ‘politics of prostitution and opportunism’
I fully agree with Tunku Abdul Rahman who, in his weekly column today, writes that “What is happening in Sabah politics is a shame, it turns out to be the prostitution of members’ political careers for money. This is the dirties and filthiest of politics that we know of.”
Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said it was not healthy for one party to have a two-thirds majority in a multi-racial society when referring to PBS’ counter-proposals to the Sabah Formula to resolve the Sabah crisis.
I do not see why the Prime Minister should be so upset about the PBS’ constitutional proposal, which is to require an elected assemblyman to vacate his seat if he defects or resigns from the party on whose ticket he won the elections. This poses no threat to the racial, cultural or religious rights or sensitivities of any group, as it concerns the morality of politics.
In fact, the DAP calls on all Political Parties, in particular the Barisan Nasional component parties, to agree to the amendment of the Federal and State Constitutions to require a defecting or resigning MP or Assemblyman to vacate his seat to put an end to the ‘Politics of Prostitution’ as mentioned by Tunku Abdul Rahman and all forms of political opportunism.
If the Barisan Nasional government believe in clean, honest and trustworthy politics, it should have no objection to the PBS’ proposal for amendment to the Constitution to ban ‘frog-jumping’ by elected Assemblymen or MPs depending on the monetary offers of the highest bidder, as if MPs and Assemblymen are available for sale at the market-place.
The DAP has not yet decided whether to contest the Sabah State General Elections, as the Party Central Executive Committee is waiting for the recommendations of the Sabah DAP. But if the DAP contests in the Sabah State General Elections, the DAP can give a commitment in advance that it would support the amendment to the Constitution to require defecting or resigning Assemblymen to resign their seats.
Such a defeating or resigning Assemblyman would have the opportunity to get a new mandate from the voters if he is convinced that his action is based on political principles, and not on political opportunism, and that his action would be endorsed by his electorate. Otherwise, he would have cheated his electoratate of their support.
Biggest blemish in Sabah Formula
I find the biggest ‘blemish’ in the Sabah Formula is that the Federal Government has not taken, or guaranteed that it would take, firm action against extremist political leaders responsible for the spate of demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and rioting in Sabah for 12 days since March 12. By its inaction, the Federal Government tantamount o condoning such illegal action, causing five deaths, many injured, and some $10 million property destroyed. So long as the Federal Government refuses to uphold law and order to arrest the political leaders responsible for the arson, bomb blasts and rioting, its proposals, whether Sabah Formula or any other Formula, would not be able to get the support of the ordinary Sabahans. For the people of Sabah cannot be expected to give support to any political settlement which recognise that extremist political leaders the right to commit crimes against the ordinary Sabahans to achieve their political ambitions.