DAP welcomes Dr. Mahathir’s statement that Sabah crisis is not a Muslim-Christian fight

Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on April 10, 1986.

DAP welcomes Dr. Mahathir’s statement that Sabah crisis is not a Muslim-Christian fight

The DAP welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, that the Federal Government would ensure that the Sabah state general elections would be conducted fairly and justly, and that security would not be threatened.

The Federal authorities have the responsibilities and capability with the forces as its command to uphold law and order. The question is whether the Federal government would carry out these responsibilities.

During the 12-day anarchy in Sabah last month with the spate of illegal demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and rioting, the Federal Government leaders kept declaring that the ‘Sabah situation is under control’, while lives were continually being threatened and property damaged.

It would be no exaggeration to say that Sabahans, who wrote:

“We are just ordinary citizens of Malaysia of Sabah origin, having strong confidence in the democratic process, our government and the administration of justice. Over the last 12 days, we have lost confidence in everything the ordinary citizen upholds. Our term of reference is the violence we witnessed and suffered and the loss of lives which are conveniently forgotten. We are outraged that our country intends to call an enquiry over the six female students who died in a road accident in Texas rather than the violently tragic deaths of people who believed the assurances that ‘the situation is under control’. Is the State (of Sabah) such an unimportant child that doesn’t even warrant any kind of reaction from our national leaders?”

This is a cry from all Sabahans, of all races and religious.

It has been pointed out to me by many Sabahans that up to now, the Prime Minister had not condemned the bomb blasts, arson and rioting in the 12-day of anarchy in Sabah. he Prime Minister had only expressed ‘regret’. They want to know why.

The former Home Affairs Minister, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie, who wrote a long letter to a local press yesterday, denying that the Federal Government had not allowed Datuk Pairin to govern Sabah, had also no word of censure or condemnation for the unlawful, violent and unconstitutional acts of the extremist political leaders in Sabah.

The Prime Minister’s assurance that ‘security would not be threatened’ in the Sabah general elections would have real meaning if the Federal Government and the Police demonstrate that they had not condoned of forgive the extremist political leaders who had planned and instigated the spate of deaths, injuries and $10 million property being destroyed the spate of deaths, injuries and $10 million property being destroyed through illegal demonstrations, bomb blasts, arson and rioting.

When I met the Sabah Commissioner of Police in Kota Kinabalu on March 21, he told me that the INSPECTOR General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, had directed him to arrest all political leaders involved in the 12-day campaign and agitation of fear, unrest and violence. Why has the Sabah Police taken no action so far against these extremist political leaders?

I also welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that the Sabah crisis was not a Muslim-Christian fight. He should have made this statement at the height of the Sabah anarchy in the 12 days in March when extremist irresponsible Sabah political leaders tried to give their attempt to topple the Pairin PBS Government the appearance of a holy Islamic struggle, in their use of the Kota Kinabalu state mosque and the call by USNO and Berjaya leaders to Muslims to unite against oppression and discrimination.

If the Prime Minister had made this statement right from the beginning about the Sabah crisis not a Muslim-Christian fight, it would have gone a long way to defuse the evil motives and de-escalate the campaign and agitation of fear, unrest and violence of the irresponsible and extremist Sabah political leaders; and the 12 days of anarchy would not have taken place!

I hope that the Prime Minister is not making these statements just because of the current PATA Conference, where some 2,500 delegates from all over the world are converging in Malaysia for the extravaganze in tourism – to be forgotten after the PATA gathering.

The Prime Minister should direct the Sabah Police to take firm action against irresponsible politicians who tried to instigate a racial conflict in Sabah in March, by for instance, painting crosses on the walls of the State Mosque in Kota Kinabalu, and blaming it on the Christians. Such acts by agent-provocateurs is self-evident, but why hasn’t the Sabah Police arrested either the ring-leaders, the plotters or the agent-provocateurs?

The fairness, impartiality and irresponsibility of the Federal Government must be a daily testimony, and not just to show to foreigners coming to Malaysia for the PATA Conference. Otherwise, this is all a sham, and I don’t think foreigners would be so gullible to be so easily deceived.