By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 13th June 1990:
DAP calls on IGP to give firm assurance that there would be no ISA arrests in Sabah for the whole of Sabah state general elections
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, said yesterday that the three Sabahans detained under the Internal Security Act, namely Kadazan-Dusun Cultural Association executive secretary, Benedict Tapin, former police detective Damit Undikai and ex-constable in the Signals Branch Albinus Yudah, were in connection with plot to pull out Sabah from Malaysia.
Tan Sri Haniff said that the authorities will only act under the ISA when there is a serious threat to national security.
Being an Operation Lalang detainee, I can only take such assurances by Tan Sri Haniff with a pinch of salt.
In any event, the reasons given by the IGP are not grounds for detention without trial of the three Sabahans. If the police have evidence that the three are involved in a new Sabah secession plot, then they should be charged and tried in open court, so that they have a chance to defend themselves. Alternatively, they should be freed.
As it is, by invoking the ISA, the authorities are acting as judge, jury and prosecutor all in one.
The detentions of the three Sabahans at this juncture of the Sabah State general elections cannot but be interpreted as politically-motivated, as was the case in the Operation Lalang detentions in October-November 1987.
A Sabah daily has reported of imminent further arrests of PBS leaders and activists. This cannot introduce a healthy element into the Sabah state general elections, and I call on the IGP to give a firm and clear undertaking that there would be no arrests under the Internal Security Act during the duration of the Sabah State general elections, and that any arrests would be made under the ordinary laws of the land where the detained would be charged in open court with the right to defend himself.
DAP also calls on the Government to issue a White Paper on the new Sabah secession plot, if there is basis to what the IGP and the Prime Minister’s reference to anti-federal feelings.