Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Kota Kinabalu Airport before departing for Tawau, on Thursday, April 17, 1986 at 11 am
Call on Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to explain whether UMNO Merdeka Editorial that PBS should not seek Malay and Muslim support, but should operate as a communal party only represented his views
The latest Merdeka, official organ of UMNO, questioning the motive of PBS in fielding more Muslim and Malay candidates in the coming Sabah state elections shows the double-standard political thinking, as well as the communal and chauvinistic attitude, of certain UMNO leaders.
UMNO has also claimed itself to be the backbone of Barisan Nasional government, and declares as its aim the promotion of national unity and Malaysian nationhood, where every citizen regards himself more as a Malaysian than his racial or religious identity. If UMNO really believes in Malaysian identity and nation building, then it should commend and welcome PBS’s attempt to seek broader-base support by securing Malay and Muslim support in the coming general elections.
In fact, if PBS succeeds in the coming Sabah State general elections to win Malay and Muslim electoral support, UMNO should be the first to congratulate the PBS in making such a breakthrough – instead of making a prejudgement that any PBS effort in this direction is insincere and a mere ‘window-dressing’.
Clearly, in the eyes of certain UMNO leaders, PBS can never do right. If it does not have Muslim of Malay leaders, it is accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Muslim. If it succeeds in getting Malay and Muslim leaders and support, it is accused of being ‘insincere’.
The Merdeka Editorial is significant because it generally reflected top UMNO leadership thinking. The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should explain clearly whether UMNO Merdeka editorial that the PBS should not seek Malay and Muslim support, but should operate at a communal party only, represented his views.
I would be most shocked if the Prime Minister publicly acknowledges this, for it would then be an open declaration that the Barisan Nasional Government’s nation-building policy is not to create Malaysians, but to ensure that everyone remain either a Malay, Chinese, Kadazan, Indian, Iban!
I call on Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir to repudiate the UMNO Merdeka Editorial as un-Malaysians, anti-national and highly destructive of the government’s nation-building policy.
Be that as it may, the UMNO Merdeka Editorial shows that the UMNO has not given up in its attempt to interfere in the Sabah political process to impose its will and formula for the solution of the Sabah political crisis.
Now that Sabah general elections are being held, UMNO should be told in no uncertain terms to stop interfering in the democratic process and will of the people of Sabah, and let the Sabahans decide their own political future by the polls on May 5 and 6. What UMNO should pledge is that it would respect the will of the people of Sabah, and would not do anything to frustrate the democratic wishes of the people of Sabah.
UMNO Merdeka would have been more respected for its views on Sabah if it had been more consistent about the welfare of Sabahans. When for 12 days in March, extremist irresponsible political leaders went on a rampage of illegal demonstrations, incitement of political and religious hatred, bomb blasts, arson and rioting, causing deaths, injuries and serious destruction of property, UMNO Merdeka showed no concern or interest. It had no word of condemnation of such politics of violence and blackmail. Even now, UMNO Merdeka cannot bring itself to condemn the USNO and Berjaya leaders responsible for the 12-day of shame in Sabah and Malaysian nationhood.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, himself had never condemned the politics of violence of the USNO and Berjaya leaders, and the people of Sabah are entitled to know why.
Sabahans and Malaysians find the illogic of the Prime Minister and the UMNO most incomprehensible. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir had said that it was not right for any one party to gain a two-third majority in the legislature, referring to PBS’ attempt to win two-third majority in the Sabah Assembly this time. Yet, Dr. Mahathir wants the people of Malaysia to continue to give the Barisan Nasional its two-third parliamentary majority.
If Dr. Mahathir does not want the voters of Sabah to give two-thirds majority to the ruling party in Sabah, then he must be consistent and also ask he Malaysians voters in the national general elections not to give two-thirds majority to the ruling coalition in Parliament as well.
Call on Inspector-General of Police and Attorney-General to arrest the ring-leader of the illegal grab for power on April 22, 1985 for ‘offences against the State’
The Kota Kinabalu High Court case, upholding the legality of Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Sabah Chief Minister for the last 11 months, is an important test as to whether the Police and the Attorney-General carry out their constitutional duties fairly and independently, without fear or favour.
Justice Datuk Tan Chiaw Thong said in his 183-page judgement that were if not for the pressures and fear instilled in him, the Yang di-Pertuan Negeri, Tun Haji Mohd. Adnan Robert, would not have sworn in Tun Mustapha on April 22, 1985.
To show, use of threaten force on the Yang di Pertua Negeri is a crime of treason under the Penal Code, and with the clear judgement from the Kota Kinabalu High Court, the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General should commence immediate action to arrest the political ring-leaders responsible for the illegal grab for power on April 22, 1985, and charge them for high treason in our courts.
Police reports had been lodged previously against the illegal grab for power on April 22, 1985, but no action had been taken by the authorities to date. With the Kota Kinabalu High Court judgement, there is no more excuses for the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar or the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, to delay and fail to discharge their constitutional duties any further.