by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Monday, Febuary 14, 1994:
Anwar’s statement that Sabahans should, not ‘sacrifice their honour for pocket-money’ most incredible when it is; the Barisan Nasional’ which ‘is most guilty of money politics’ in every election
Those who follow the television news coverage over RTM and TV3 of the Sabah state, general election can only conclude that the days of Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan are. numbered; that the Barisan Nasional will not only topple PBS State Government on February 18 and 19 but that the Barisan Nasional will win very big, secure of a two-thirds majority; and that the. PBS candidates are all fighting to save their deposits!
In fact, one would get the impression, that Barisan Nasional is the only party which is seriously contesting in the Sabah state general election, and no others.
For this reason, the police report lodged by the PBS candidate for Likas, Dr. Yee Moh Chai on Saturday that RTM and TV3 had committed ‘corrupt practices’ in their biased and one sided coverage of the Sabah state general election, over their television and radio networks had struck a chord of sympathy and support not only-in Sabah but throughout Malaysia.
In the Sabah state general election, the Barisan Nasional leaders have campaigned on themes like honour, morality and integrity.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, told Sabahans not to sacrifice their honour for pocket-money’.
This statement is most incredible -as it is the Barisan Nasional which is most well-known for its-practice of the politics of money in general elections. In fact, the Barisan National’s politics of money is not confined in general elections, but is also very prevalent in party election’s like last year’s UMNO party elections.
In the 1990 general elections, Barisan. Nasional had been estimated to have spent RM300 million in the campaign. In last year’s UMNO party elections for the top posts, such as UMNC Deputy President, Vice Presidents and Supreme Council positions, RM500 million had been estimated to have been spent. At the UMNO annual general assembly, UMNO-delegates recounted how they were bribed with gifts and money in the UMNO, party elections.
How much is the Barisan Nasional spending in the Sabah state general elections – RM150 million or RM200 million?
How can Anwar Ibrahim tell Sabahans not to ‘sacrifice their honour for pocket-money.’ when in every general election, it is the Barisan Nasional which is most guilty of money politics.
This is like felling Sabahans that they should not ‘sacrifice their honour for pocket-money’ unless they are accepting the pocket-money from-Barisan Nasional!
Is Anwar Ibrahim prepared to publicly declare how much the Barisan Nasional is spending in the Sabah state general election campaign – and the source of this fortune?
In raising the issue of ‘honour’, what honour is there in TV3 and RTM when they can trample on every tenet of journalis¬tic fairness by providing a most one-sided, biased and tendentious coverage of the Sabah state general elections in favour of the Barisan Nasional?
Call on Anwar to name the Barisan Nasional Ministers, Chief Ministers and Mentri-Mentri Besar who were removed from office for corruption in the past ten years?
I would have been the first to welcome the corruption theme of the Barisan Nasional in the Sabah state general elec¬tions, if the Barisan Nasional leaders are serious and sincere in their statements and speeches.
However, one gets the impression that the Barisan Nasional leaders have a secret message in what they are saying in the Sabah state general elections.
What the Barisan Nasional leaders are saying seems to be that corruption in PBS government is wrong, but not corruption in Barisan Nasional government; and that if leaders want to be corrupt, they have to be in Barisan Nasional where they would not be arrested or prosecuted.
This is why Anwar Ibrahim’s call to Sabahans to ‘reject corrupt leaders’ and the Barisan Nasional promise to remove corrupt leaders sound very cynical, as this is not re¬flected by the record of the Federal Government or in the other State Governments controlled by Barisan Nasional.
I call on Anwar Ibrahim to name the Barisan Nasional Ministers, Chief Ministers and Mentri-Mentri Besar who had been removed from office in the past 10 years because of corruption!
Or does Anwar Ibrahim want the people, of Sabah to believe that there had been no case of corruption among the Barisan Nasional Ministers, Chief Ministers or Mentri-Mentri Besar in the past ten years?
The Barisan Nasional themes of ‘honour, morality and integrity’ in the Sabah state general elections also evoke skep¬ticism when the Barisan Nasional’s own record record is tested against them.
The Federal Government is the chief cause for the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah and why it had not been resolved so far.
Anwar Ibrahim wants to give the impression that the Barisan Nasional did not have an opportunity to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Saba’h because the State Govern¬ment was not from the Barisan Nasicnal.
This is misleading, untrue and dishonest. Except for the 40 months when the-PBS pulled out of the Barisan Nasional from October’ 1990 till now, the Sabah State Governmsnt had always been part of the Barisan Nasional, and previously Alliance coalition.
What did the Barisan Nasional Federal Government do to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah in all those years when the Sabah State Government was a member of the Barisan Nasional?
The Barisan Nasional not only did nothing, it allowed the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah to get from bad to worse.
The problem of Filipino refugees and Filipino and Indonesian illegal immigrants had mushroomed from a manageable problem between 100,000 to 200,000 illegals in the 1970s into a grave political, socio-economic and nation-building problem between 800,000 to a million illegal immigrants today – and the Federal Government must accept, the fullest responsibility for this state of affair.
Today, illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants have even become voters after getting blue identity cards and are illegally determining the political future of Sabahans!
Barisan Nasional making dishonest and impossible promises an its Sabah election manifesto like reducing poverty to zero in 2000 and raising Sabah’s per capita income to RM10,000 in six years time.
In its desperation to topple, the PBS Government of Datuk Joseph Pair in Kitingan, the Barisan Nasional is not only manipulating the mass media, practise money politics, but making dishonest and impossible promises in its’ Sabah election manifes to, like reducing poverty in Sabah from the present high poverty level of 33 per cent to zero in 2000 and raising Sabah’s per capita income from RM3,600 at present to EM10,000 in six years time.
In order to deceiving the voters, the mass media – in particular TV and Radio have been manipulated so that the voters do not examine too closely, these election promsies.
The Barisan Nasional campaign would have more credibility and integrity if the Barisan Nasional leaders realise that it is not enough for them to talk about ‘honour, morality and integrity’, but that such, qualities should be reflected in the entire Barisan National election campaign!