Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at his second Sabah state general elections ceramah at Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, July 14, 1990 at 8 p.m.
Call on Sabah voters to vote DAP to save PBS
I am making a call to the people of Sabah in the seven constituencies contested by the DAP to vote for the DAP on July 17 to save the PBS from self-destruction.
All the top PBS leaders from the PBS President, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, have declared that they are supremely confident of winning the general elections in a big way, and have no doubt about being returned to power with more than two-thirds majority in the Sabah Assembly.
If the PBS wins the July 17 general elections with more than two-thirds majority, and there is no effective Opposition check in the Sabah State Assembly on its abuses of power and corruption, then it will be the beginning of the end for the PBS Government – for it would have embarked on the road to self-destruction, going the way of the previous USNO and Berjaya Governments.
Both the USNO and Berjaya Governments showed their most ugly faces of misgovernment, abuses and excesses of power and corruption during their second term of office. Are the people of Sabah going to allow another repetition of history in Sabah politics – to give credence to the theory of the nine-year cycle of the rise and fall of Sabah state governments?
The only party which can save the PBS Government from going the way of USNO and Berjaya Governments, showing the worst abuses during the second term of office, is the DAP – for all the other opposition parties and candidates do not have clean political records.
The DAP is asking the people to vote for the DAP candidates in the Sabah state general elections because we want the PBS Government not only to rule on July 17, but also to be able to govern after 1994 – and break the nine-year theory of the rise and fall of Sabah state governments.
Datuk Chau Tet On is a liability to the PBS Government
There are individual PBS Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Assemblymen and candidates who are a liability to the PBS Government and the Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan. One of them is the PBS Deputy Chief Minister and candidate for Api-Api, Datuk Chau Tet On.
I have no doubt that if Datuk Chau Tet On has to depend on his own individual record and history, he has no chance whatsoever of winning in the general elections. He has not been able to endear himself, not only to the Chinese in Kota Kinabalu, but even to the Chinese in the PBS.
However, Chau Tet On’s election workers are going round telling the voters that for the sake of the ‘larger situation’, even if they do not like Datuk Chau Tet On, they should vote for the PBS.
What is this ‘larger situation’ for which the voters must swallow their dislike for Tet On and vote for him on July 17?
When this question is pursued, the answer is that the ‘larger situation’ is to ensure that the PBS and Joseph Pairin do not fall from power. However, this question does not arise as Joseph Pairin and even Tet On have made it very clear that the PBS Government is going to win with overwhelming two-thirds majority.
Whether Tet On wins or loses in Api-Api on July 17 will not affect PBS’ ‘larger situation’, for Joseph Pairin can still form the next state government with or without Tet On.
Of course, a defeat for Tet On will affect Tet On’s ‘larger situation’ as he may not be able to continue as Deputy Chief Minister. I am sure many PBS leaders and members, including Yong Teck Lee, would not regard this as a disaster for PBS – but as a blessing in disguise.
However, if Pairin values the services of Tet On so highly, the Chief Minister could still appoint him as Deputy Chief Minister after nominating Tet On as one of the six nominated Assemblymen.
If the people are concerned about the ‘larger situation’, they must get the genuine ‘larger situation’ right and not be misled by the false ‘larger situation’.
The real ‘larger situation’ the people should be concerned about is to get the DAP elected into the Sabah State Assembly, for in this way, the PBS Government would not only be strong, but there is a check to prevent it from abusing its powers and the trust of the people.
I want to clearly and unequivocally reiterate that the DAP fully supports the PBS Government to be the next Sabah State Government, and if there is another power grab as in the 1985 general elections, the PBS and Joseph Pairin can fully count on the DAP’s support and backing.
While the DAP fully supports PBS to continue to be the next Government, the DAP Assemblymen if elected will speak up for the rights of the people against any government abuses and excesses of power, corruption and breach of PBS election pledges.
Why Joseph Pairin and Yong Teck Lee did not object to ‘outside influence’ in 1985 and 1986 when I championed them?
Datuk Joseph Pairin went to Sandakan two days ago and asked the people not to vote for candidates from an ‘outside’ party. I feel sad that Joseph Pairin has stooped so low to talk in this fashion.
If Fung Ket Wing, for instance, is an ‘outsider’, where does Joseph Pairin come from?
Why is it Joseph Pairin and Yong Teck Lee did not object to ‘outside influence’ in 1985 and 1986 when I was defending and championing their rights and political life?
Why didn’t Joseph Pairin tell me in March 1986 that I was an ‘outsider’ and there was no need for me to visit Kota Kinabalu amidst bombings, arson and rioting, to shame the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, also to visit Kota Kinabalu and restore law and order, putting an end to the ‘Black Days of March 1986’ in Sabah?
In 1986 Sabah state general elections, when Yong Teck Lee was arrested by the Police during the campaign period, why did he and his family phoned me in Petaling Jaya for help – and did not raise the issue of ‘outside influence’?
The decision by the Sabah DAP to contest in the Sabah state general elections is a fully Sabahan decision. The DAP left it completely to the Sabah DAP to decide whether to contest and where to contest. Once the Sabah DAP decided to contest, I came over to give whatever help I could – just as in March 1986, I came over to give whatever help I could to save Joseph Pairin from being toppled from power by the conspiracy of bombings, arson and rioting.
PBS scare tactics before polling day that PBS would lose power
With polling only two days away, the PBS will use all sorts of scare tactics to get the voters not to vote for the DAP. For instance, they will create the impression that the PBS will lose State power on July 17, and that they need every seat to win – although Joseph Pairin and all the other PBS leaders had just said that they could win with overwhelming two-thirds majority.
The voters should be aware of these last-minute panic and scare tactics, and should remember that on July 17, a vote for the DAP is even better than a vote for the PBS as it will not only ensure that the PBS is returned to power, but that there will be an effective Opposition as well.
Tengku Razaleigh sympathetic and supportive of the aspirations of Sabahans
Last Wednesday, DAP and Semangat 46 leaders had a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, and I took the occasion to discuss with the Semangat 46 leader, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the concerns of the people of Sabah.
Tengku Razaleigh is very sympathetic and supportive of the demands and aspirations of the people of Sabah on the Labuan issue, the illegal immigrants and the increase of oil and gas royalties to the Sabah State Government.
These are not ‘anti-federal’ or ‘anti-Malaysia’ issues, but legitimate concerns of the people of Sabah. As Sabah is an integral part of Malaysia, any issue or concern of Sabah should be regarded as a Malaysian issue or concern as well, and not labelled as ‘anti-federal’ or ‘anti-Malaysia’.
In the final analysis, the only way these legitimate aspirations of the people of Sabah for greater respect for their constitutional rights and status could be realised is to work for a change in the national parliamentary elections, as where the Barisan Nasional Federal Government is replaced by a Federal Government based on the co-operation between Semangat 46 and DAP.
This is the real ‘larger situation’ all Sabahans should be concerned about. If the DAP can succeed on July 17 to make a breakthrough into the Sabah State Assembly, it will also constitute a clear signal to the Barisan Nasional Federal Government and the Prime Minister that the legitimate concerns of the people of Sabah, like the Labuan issue, illegal immigrants, the increase of oil and gas royalties, are not ‘anti-federal’ or ‘anti-Malaysia’ issues, but 100 per cent Malaysia issues!