by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Mp for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 21st April 1993:
Tan Sri Ismail should be appointed to improve relationship between the Federal Government and the Kelantan and Sabah State Government so that the legitimate rights and interests of Malaysians in these states, including the right to development, are fully protected.
The Speaker of Parliament, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, said at the opening of a seminar on the “Parliament System” in Kuala Terengganu yesterday that “ketegangan tidak sepatutnya berlaku di antara kerajaan negeri dan Kerajaan Pusat kerana bidang tugas masing-masing sudah dejelaskan dalam undang-undang Negara”.
As an example, he said that a Mentri Besar is the head of a State Government and he has to look after the interest of the people, irrespective of their political inclinations. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is a Federal Government leader and not a Prime Minister to just coalition political parties.
I fully agree with these sentiments expressed by Tan Sri Zahir Ismail. Unnecessary divisions and tensions will arise when a Prime minister or a Mentri Besar does not behave as the Prime Minister or Mentri Besar of all Malaysians, but only of a section of the population, and where public funds are expended in a highly discriminatory manner although they come from the tax contributions of all Malaysians.
As an example, Barisan Nasional MPs and Assemblymen get Federal and State Government allocations for minor developments projects in their constituencies – but this allocation is denied to Opposition Mps.
It is such unfair and highly discriminatory actions of the Federal Government which creates and aggravates division not only among the people, but between the people and the government.
Tan Sri Zahir has made a most commendable suggestion in calling for the removal of all unnecessary tensions between the Federal and State Governments of Kelantan and Sabah.
It would be a good idea if he is appointed with the special task of making proposals to improve relations between the Federal and State Governments of Sabah and Kelantan so that the legitimate rights and interests of Malaysians in these two states, including their right to development, are protected and advanced.