The real silence over the Sabah state election has come from the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, himself

Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Tuesday, 31st July 1990:

The real silence over the Sabah state election has come from the Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamed, himself

Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, said yesterday that the ‘silence’ of the Election Watch over the way the recent Sabah state election was conducted shows that the group was biased.

I find this criticism by Ghafar Baba very strange. This criticism would be well-founded it the government had invited or challenged the Election Watch to observe or monitor the Sabah state election, but unfortunately, the Barisan Nasional Government had refused to give any recognition to the six-man Election Watch headed by Tun Mohamed Suffian.

However, the real ‘silence’ about the Sabah state election has come from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed himself.

Two days ago, when the Barisan Nasional won the Kuala Linggi state by-election in Malacca, Dr. Mahathir immediately sent a congratulatory cable to the Malacca Chief Minister, hailing it as a resounding victory of the Barisan Nasional.

But there has been total and prolonged silence form the Prime Minister since the Sabah state elections for the past two weeks since July 17, where PBS was returned to power with 36 State Assembly seats.

When the Sabah state assembly was first dissolved at the end of May, Dr. Mahathir said that a victory for PBS would also be a victory for the Barisan Nasional.

However, when the PBS won 36 State Assembly seats, there was only ‘silence’ from Dr. Mahathir – no statement of praise, no congratulatory cable, no acknowledgement whatsoever!

Ghafar Baba should ask Dr. Mahathir the reason for this Prime Ministerial ‘silence’! Is it because Dr. Mahathir is not pleased at all at the PBS victory in Sabah?

However, not everyone in the Barisan Nasional leadership had been silent on the Sabah state election results.

A week after the Sabah election result, the UMNO Secretary-General and Information Minister, Datuk Mohamad Rahmat, announced the rejection of one of the objectives of the PBS election manifesto buy declaring that the Federal Government will not allow Sabah to operate its own radio and television stations.

What is shocking is that this announcement by Datuk Mohamed Rahmat was made without any prior consultation or discussion with the PBS State Government or any prior in-depth study of Sabah’s request for a separate television network.

The Barisan Nasional Federal Government should give full respect to the PBS state election manifesto, for which the people of Sabah voted for the PBS, on issues like Labuan, oil and gas royalty for the state, illegal immigrants and the 20-Point Agreement.

The Barisan Nasional Supreme Council should convene a special meeting to discuss and decide on the PBS election manifesto, to give it formal approval and adoption so that the PBS State Government could implement the sate manifesto.

The DAP will give full support to the PBS State Government to implement its state election manifesto.