by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, April 8, 1986:
What has happened to Inspector-General of Police’s directive to arrest extremist political leaders involved in the 12-day demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and rioting in Sabah?
The Sabah Commissioner of Police, Haji Ahmad Maulana Babjee, was reported today as having told a PBS Youth delegation that the police had not yet investigated the involvement of political leaders of the recent illegal demonstrations in Sabah because of a shortage of manpower.
I find this excuse most astonishing. It also is a direct contradiction to what Haji Ahmad Maulana assured me when I and Sdr. Fung Ket Wing, DAP MP for Sandakan, called on him during our visit to Kota Kinabalu on March 21.
At that meeting, I raised with the Commissioner of Police my concern at the police inaction against political leaders involved in the campaign to agitate and escalate fear, unrest and violence through a spate of illegal demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and rioting.
He assured me that the Police would take action against those involved, including politicians. I asked what he was doing about the USNO MP for Kota Belud, Yahya Lampong, for instance, who was prominently involved in the riot in Kota Kinabalu of March 19, and the local newspapers carried photographs of Yahya Lampong leading the illegal processing which became a riot, resulting in a dusk-to-dawn curfew being imposed on Kota Kinabalu. I also asked him whether it is true that Yabya Lampong had escaped to Brunei.
Haji Ahmed Maulana said he could not confirm whether Yahya Lampong has escaped to Brunei, although the Police was looking for him. He again assured me that the Police would take action against all political leaders involved in the spate of incidents in Sabah, that the Inspector General Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, had given him a directive to arrest all political leaders involved. He said those who had escaped from Sabah would have to face police action when they eventually returned to Sabah.
I had not told reporters about this assurance by the Sabah Commissioner of Police because I had believed in the Commissioner’s word and to let the police carry out their duties. But from the events of the last 18 days, it seems clear that the Police had no intention to take action against Yahya Lampong and other political leaders involved in the spate of agitation and escalation of incidents in Sabah.
I want to ask the Sabah Commissioner of Police whether the Inspector General of Police had rescinded his earlier directive to him to take action against all political who had defied the law, or whether the IGP himself had been told by the Federal political leadership not to touch the Sabah political leaders.
DAP expresses support and solidarity with the estate workers who are protesting against the rejection of their monthly wage claim
The DAP gives full support and express solidarity with the workers in the 400 estates in the country who stayed away from work yesterday to protest against the Industrial Court’s rejection of their monthly wage claim.
The workers are protesting against the unprecedented manner in which the Industrial Court rejected their claim after 30 minutes of deliberation, when the case had taken 43 days of hearing.
The estate workers’ anger, frustration and sense of outrage is fully understandable, for justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.
The DAP takes a very serious view of this matter, and is following closely its development, and we will come out with a firm policy stand on the issue in the next few days.
Call on Malacca Chief Minister to withdraw unconditionally the Malacca State Government claim for $2 million quit rent demand for Bukit China, and to apologise to the Chinese community for questioning the right of self-determination of Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees to Bukit China
It is most strange that in announcing that the Bukit China’s $3 million quit rent issue had been settled four days ago, the MCA Transport Minister and Deputy President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, excluded the English and Bahasa Malaysian press. Does this mean that his announcement is unauthoried, inconclusive, and made without the permission of the Malacca Chief Minister?
Or is it a plot between Dr. Ling Liong Sik and the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, whereby MCA could claim in the Chinese community that the Bukit China quit rent issue had been settle, while Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, could also claim to the Malay community that the Bukit China quit rent issue is still ‘alive’?
Is this the reason why Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik said that the previous arrears are set aside, but future quit rent would still have to be resolved by the legal process?
This is a compromise of the legal position of Bukit China, which is exempted from quit rent as stated by the Malacca State Government’s letter of 1967. Why is the MCA betraying the legal rights and position of Bukit China in this fashion?
The Bukit China quit rent demand controversy cannot be settled unless:
(1) the Malacca Chief Minsiter admit that the State Government’s demand for Bukit China quit rent arrears and fines is illegal;
(2) assurance from the Malacca Chief Minister that the State Government would not make any future quit rent demand on Bukit China.
Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik was the first person to talk about $3 million Bukit China quit rent demand. All along, the claim was for $2 million as quit rent arrears and fines. Again, why should MCA be the first to concede that the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees owe the Malacca State Government $3 million, and not merely $2 million, when in actual fact, the Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees owe the Malacca State Government not a single cent for quit rent of Bukit China?
The Cheng Hoon Teng Trustees had reiterated that it does not admit that it owed the Malacca State Government $2 million or $3 million as Bukit China quit rent – and the whole Malaysian Chinese community also does not recognise that it owes the Malacca State Government this multi-million dollar quit rent. Why is the MCA going against the wishes of the entire Chinese community by rushing forward to admit that $3 million quit rent is owed by Bukit China?
As the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees have an appointment with the Malacca State Government authorities on April 15, 1986, I call on the Malacca Chief Minister to resolve this matter once and for all, by attending this meeting personally, and announcing that the Malacca State Government unconditionally withdraws its quit rent demand, admitting that Bukit China is exempted from quit rent by recognising the legality of the State Government’s exemption letter in 1967, and apologising to the entire Chinese community for challenging the right of self-determination of the Cheng Hoon Teng trustees for the future care and maintenance of Bukit China.