Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Kota Kinabalu before returning to Kuala Lumpur after a five-day visit to Sabah on Sunday, July 13, 1986.
Sabahans’ demand for justice for the March bomb blasts, arson and rioting will be featured in the DAP’s General Elections Manifesto
The DAP General Elections Manifesto will feature at least five issues which are close to the hearts of the people of Sabah.
They are, firstly, the demand of the people of Sabah for justice for the March bomb blasts, arson and rioting, resulting in the imposition of curfew for the first time in Kota Kinabalu, widespread fear, insecurity and loss of live lives and destruction of $10 million property.
If the Barisan Nasional Government is not prepared to visit the full rigours of the law on the perpetrators of the March bomb blasts, arson and rioting, it has clearly abdicated from its constitutional duties. It is because the Barisan Nasional in Kuala Lumpur was responsible in conniving, colluding or in tacit approval to the plotters to invoke the Pena; Code charges on treason with its mandatory like imprisonment sentence?
If the Federal Attorney-General is not prepared to act, then the DAP calls for the establishment of a Special Prosecutor to charge all those plotters, instigators and perpetrators of the March violence with the full rigours of the law.
So long as the plotters, instigators and perpetrators of the twelve black days of March had not been prosecuted and punished commensurate for their crimes, so long have the people of Sabah been denied justice.
The second Sabah issue which all feature in the DAP General Elections Manifesto will be the illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants.
The Barisan Nasional must bear full responsibility for the problem of the illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants, which according to former USNO leader, Dzulfili Hamid, went as far back as 1968. What had the Barisan Nasional Federal Government done for the last 18 years to resolve the problem? It not only did nothing, it was in fact responsible for 18 years in allowing this problem by its policy of closing both eyes to the influx of illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants to grow from a minor problem to become a monstrous cancer in Sabah and Malaysian politics.
It is an open secret that there had been a flourishing syndicate for a long time, going back to the 1970s, where illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants fraudently acquired false Malaysian identification, citizenship and voting rights, and as a result, in some Sabah Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies, they have become the decisive group to decide who is to be elected Assemblyman or Member of Parliament, determining the destiny of Sabah and Malaysia!
The Dap wants every illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants to be deported, and every ‘phantom’ citizen to be exposed through a state-wide verification exercise of all dubious illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants who had acquired false citizenship papers, and cast illegal votes.
The third Sabah issue in the DAP General Elections Manifesto will be the right of the people of Labuan to a referendum whether to remain in the Federal Territory or to revert back to the Sabah State.
The arbitrary’ gift of Labuan to the Federal Government stands as a daily reminder of the dictatorship and high-handedness of the Harris Salleh Government, where Labuan was forcibly removed from Sabah without consultation or consent. It is a daily reminder of the undemocratic Federal Government and Barisan Nasional in taking over Labuan without respecting the wishes of the people of Labuan and Sabah, and without paying a single cent, as in the case of Kuala Lumpur.
After more than two years of Labuan as the Federal Territory, the people found that they have become the ‘forgotten People’ and the ‘Forgotten Island’. There was not only no development in Labuan in the last two years, they find job opportunities of the people of Labuan being deprived by others. For instance, I have received complaints that the Labuan Federal Territory government departments even imported people from West Malaysia to become clerks in Labuan. Is there no one in Labuan who qualifys to be a clerk?
The fourth Sabah issue is the demand for fair Federal developments funds for the Sabah State and people. The five percent petroleum revenue reverting back to Sabah is inadequate and must be increased. There must be a major allocation of funds for the socio-economic development of Sabah, such as the establishment of a full-fledged University Sabah.
The fifth Sabah issue is to put a stop to the politics of corruption in Sabah. The PBS Government had promised to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the corruption, abuses and excesses of the Harris Salleh Government.
This promise should be honoured so that such a Royal Commission of Inquiry will give warning to all political leaders that their corrupt practices, abuses of power and authority, will finally be exposed publicly, even if it takes five or ten years. This will help to check rampant corruption in high political places.
Recently, when Aliran President, Dr.Chandra Muzaffar was in Sabah, the PBS Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, reacted favourably to the Aliran proposal that the Cabinet Minister publicly declare their assets,
Nothing has been heard so far, and I hope that the PBS government would be able to lead the way in Malaysia by requiring all State Ministers to publicly declare their assets.
Sabah people have more reasons than other Malaysia to want to teach Barisan Nasional a lesson in democracy
There is a strong political wind blowing in Malaysia desiring to deny the Barisan Nasional two-third parliamentary majority to save democracy and protect the legitimate rights of Malaysians of all communities and States.
The people of Sabah have more reasons than Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak to wan to deny Barisan Nasional two-third majority for what happened in Sabah in the past 20 months, and in particular the 12 Black Days of March in Sabah, and the general elections is the real time for such action.
A strong Opposition is in fact the best guarantee of democracy and freedom for it will provide the necessary check and balance to restrain the abuses and misuses of power and authority. As Lord Acton said :” Power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” –and the Barisan Nasional government is a giving proof of the corruption of absolute power in Parliament and in Malaysia.
Opposition MPs are doing the country a great patriotic and selfless service, for they have to incur the displeasure and wrath of the Government for standing up for the people’s rights. If Opposition MPs and leaders are in politics for their own interest, they could have a more comfortable life, making millions of dollars, by fighting a place in the Barisan Nasional.
Former Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, from his years of experience in politics stretching back to over 40 years and especially as a result of his contemplation and observations after his resignation as Prime Minister because of ill-health in 1981, has made the wise and very important statement a few days ago that a strong Opposition is good for the long-term future of the people and nation.
There is one Sabah political leader who thinks he is very smart, wise and experienced, and who immediately came out with a statement criticising Tun Hussein Onn.
This Sabah political leader who cannot even stand in the shadow of Tun Hussein Onn should not forget his ‘roots’, for if the people of Sabah had regarded the Opposition as evil and bad for them, he would never have been elected to high Ministerial office today. He should never forget that Tun Hussein Onn was one of the leaders who spoke up for the people of Sabah and PBS when Kuala Lumpur was trying to squash the PBS. As a Chinese, he should realise that it is a great sin to be an ‘ingrate’.
I would urge the people of Sabah, together with the people of Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, to respond to Tun Hussein Onn whose statement at this time of political awakening among the people on the eve of general elections tantamounts to support for the nation-wide denial of two-third parliamentary majority to Barisan Nasional.