by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 1. 12.1986:
The USNO defeat in Sulaman by–election in Sabah should be a warning to UMNO to respect the political sensitivities of the Sabah people and not intrude into Sabah and changing the political equation
I congratulate the PBS candidate Jasni Gindug polled 2,657 votes to beat USNO’s Omar Khan Amirussin, who obtained 1,953 votes and Ansari Abdullah of Berjaya who got 1,137 votes.
The UNSO defeat in USNO stronghold should be a warning to UMNO to respect the political sensitivities of the Sabah people, and not intrude into Sabah to change the political equation n the Sabah state.
As UMNO is the dominant party in the Barisan Nasional coalition, its entry into Sabah arena of party politics can only be seen as an unfriendly act against PBS, for there is no doubt that UMNO’s replacement of USNO would gravely undermine PBS being edged out of State power position. This is because nobody believes UMNO would be content to play second fiddle in Sabah politics, if it is a direct participant in Sabah State politics.
UMNO Youth leader, Anwar Ibrahim, had said that UMNO should extend its wing to Sabah long ago. If this is the case, is UMNO also proposing to extend its wing to Sarawak, gobbling up the PBB in the process?
UMNO’s entry into Sabah politics will not only affect intra-party relations in Barisan Nasional, but also have grave long-term consequences for Federal-State relationship as well.
The people of Sabah and Malaysia have seen how Federal Government’s bias towards USNO had allowed so many USNO leaders to get away with impunity despite their criminal role in the March spate of bomb blasts, arson, illegal demonstrations despite the loss of lives and great damage to property. When these USNO leaders become UMNO leaders in Sabah, they will become even more arrogant, contemptuous of the law, and uninhibited in their political plots and conspiracies.
The entry of UMNO into Sabah will not be the beginning of greater political peace and stability, but would herald a new political tensions and crisis. At this stage of Sabah and Malaysian politics, the extension of UMNO to Sabah would also aggravate racial polarisation in the country.
In a way, PBS has contributed to the UMNO decision to extend its wing to Sabah, by providing the political excuse for such a decision. The repeated talk of a proposed merger between by PBS and Gerakan, confirmed many times by Gerakan Leaders but weekly denied by PBS leaders, had provided the political atmosphere whereby UMNO leaders can say that UMNO is only reciprocating to the intention of PBS to extend its influence to Peninsular Malaysia through its long-standing merger talks with Gerakan!
Dr. Mahathir should clarify and announce amendments to the Bill now and not when tabling the second reading of the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill
The Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, said last week that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, would provide a clarification of the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill when tabling the second reading of the Bill, which is expected on Thursday or Friday. There has also been talk that the Prime Minister would be tabling amendments to the present Bill.
From what I know, these amendments to the Bill would be very superficial as they would now remove the draconian and oppressive features of the Bill, which usurps the powers of Parliament by giving the Minister concerned the right to add to the Schedule defining ‘official secrets’, usurps the powers of the Judiciary by removing from the courts their discretionary power to pass sentence in the provision for mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence and excluding judicial review of a Minister or public officer’s right to certify documents as ‘secret’; and reduce newspapers to government gazettes in the blow to press freeddom by the clamp-down on free flow of information.
In any event, I call on Dr. Mahathir to make his clarifications and announce the amendments to the Bill now, and not wait until the second reading of the Bill. The enactment of a bill is a serious public business, where the public, apart from MPs, have the right to fullest information and opportunity to give their views, and not like a magic show, with the magician producing a rabbit from the hat at the last minute to amuse the audience!
In fact, MPs should be accorded the courtesy of being given advance notice of any amendment to the Bill before the House, so that they have time to study them and consult interested and concerned Malaysians. Even Barisan Nasional MPs should protest at not being given advance notice of any amendments to the Bill, for even if thery are eventually to be ‘rubber-stamps’, they should have the pride nit to be seen as mere ‘rubber stamps’.