by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 17th May 1991:
Call on the IGP to prove that arrest of Jeffrey Kitingan is a security operation and not a politically motivated action.
Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, said yesterday that the police may arrest more people under the Internal Security Act in connection with the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia.
Tan Sri Haniff said that the Police had several people “in mind” following the arrest of the Sabah Foundation director, Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan on Monday. He also confirmed that Dr. Kitingan is the seventh person arrested in connection with the plot.
In making these statements, Tan Sri Haniff is no more speculating about a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, but stating as a matter of fact that there is indeed such a plot – to the extent that the Police is minded to arrest several more people. He even went further and said that missionaries from two foreign countries are implicated in the plot.
The IGP had said umpteen times about a plot for the secession of Sabah, but despite the arrest of seven people in the past one year, the Police had failed to prove to the people of Sabah and Malaysia that there is indeed such a plot. A plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia cannot exist without facts, particulars, names, persons, plans, preparations, etc. Where are these evidence? And if missionaries from two foreign countries are implicated in the plot, who are they?
The people are entitled to ask the Police whether this so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia is a political or a security issue.
If it is a political issue, then there is no need for anyone to produce any proof. All that is needed is for the charge to be repeated as many times as possible, with full coverage by the media.
It will be most unfortunate if the Malaysian Police should be involved in a political issue, where charges are hurled against political opponents of the Barisan Nasional without having to produce any evidence.
The Inspector-General of Police must be aware that many Malaysians are thinking as to whether Jeffrey Kitingan would be arrested if the PBS had not pulled out of Barisan Nasional on the eve of the last general elections and if UMNO had not entered into Sabah.
The credibility of the Police will suffer grave damage if the people of Sabah and Malaysia believe that the Police are just political instruments carrying out the ISA arrests to serve the political interests of Barisan Nasional and in particular UMNO in Sabah.
UMNO leaders like Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Ghafar Baba had declared that UMNO wants to capture the Sabah state government. Let UMNO do it through fair politics, and not by using the police to pave the way for UMNO to come to power in Sabah.
If the charge of a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia is a security issue, then the Police must produce proof to convince the people that the Police has ample evidence to justify the detention of seven persons under the ISA for the past one year.
The Police is trying to create a reign of fear in Sabah with talk of more arrests under the ISA in connection with the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia.
It is not good enough for the IGP to claim that the Police has the right to arrest anyone under the ISA for purposes of investigation. Such a statement shows that the Police, which had been arresting people for such a plot for such a plot for the past one year, is still standing on very flimsy ground and does not have evidence which could convince anyone.
In this context, the IGP’s statement that the Police may arrest more people under the ISA in connection with the plot is most uncalled for and unjustifiable. It is designed to create a reign of fear in Sabah, and seems designed to create a political effect more than anything else.
This is why I ask the IGP to explain, both by words and deeds, as to whether the Police operation on the so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia is a security or political operation.
The DAP reiterates it call for the issue of a Government White Paper for the Police to present its case of a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia to justify its detention of seven persons under the ISA and threat to arrest several more people.
The Police must prove that the detention of Jeffrey Kitingan is a security operation and not a politically-motivated action.