Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP general elections ceramah at Rarnada Hotel, Sandakan on Tuesday, 15th February 1994 at 8 p.m.
The Barisan Nasional’s call for a Sabah Baru is based on five elections promises which could not be achieved or fulfilled
Since the first day of the Chinese New Year on February 10, all those who met me in Penang or spoke to me over the phone asked whether Datuk Joseph Pair in Kitingan is going to be thrown out of office and the the Barisan Nasional sweep into power in the Sabah state general elections on February 18 and 19.
This is because going by the radio and television coverage of RTM and TV3, the Sabah general elections is a very one-sided battle, with Barisan Nasional having the upper-hand while PBS seemed to be not only on the defensive, but even in the pathetic position of being ‘unable to defend itself’!
Yong Teck Lee is appearing on prime time television every night whether RTM or TV3, getting more exposure than the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Si’k, the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and even more exposure than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed himself as if Yong Teck Lee now owns shares in RTM and TV3 or is ‘rotating’ as Prime Minister of Malaysia, at least until February 19!
When I carne over to Sabah today, I found the political situation on the ground diametrically opposite to what Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak had thought.
From what I gather, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan and the PBS Plus should have no problem in being returned to power in. Sabah in the state general election this weekend or even in securing a two-thirds majority in the State Assembly.
Let the Sabah voters demonstrate this weekend that ‘People’s Power’ is greater and mightier than the ‘Power of RTM and TV3’
For over a week, the Barisan Nasional has been demonstrating the ‘Power of RTM and TV3’ in Sabah and Malaysia to manipulate, distort and even concoct news, but on February 18 and 19, it is the turn for the voters of Sabah to demonstrate ‘People’s Power’ – and that their ‘People’s Power’ is greater and mightier than the ‘Power of PTM and TV3’!
The people of Malaysia will rejoice with the people of Sabah if on this weekend, not only Barisan Nasional, but RTM and TVS are also crushed by the votes of Sabahans in the ballot boxes and the RTM and TV3 taught a bitter lesson in democracy!
In the Sabah general election campaign so far, it is clear that the Barisan Nasional campaign is being masterminded by the UMNO leaders from Kuala Lumpur, and the leaders of Sabah UMNO and. SAPP are just playing second fiddle.
In fact, UMNO Deputy President and Deputy Prime, Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is spearheading the Sabah Barisan Nasional general elections campaign as if he is personally fighting to become the next Sabah Chief Minister – except he is not one of the candidates standing for election.
If the Barisan Nasional Sabah state general election campaign has to be run by UMNO leaders from Kuala Lumpur, a Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government would also have to be run by UMNO leaders from the Federal capital.
Anwar and other Barisan Nasional leaders claim that Joseph Pair in Kitingan’s PBS Plus Government could be toppled on February 19, but they do not have real confidence themselves and this is why the Barisan Nasional had not dared to announce who would be the Barisan Nasional Sabah Chief Minister if PBS is overthrown this Saturday.
Although Tun Mustapha was passed over and Datuk San-karan Dandai was chosen to become Sabah UMNO State Chairman, Mahathir and Anwar cannot have high regard for the leadership qualities and calibre of Sankaran Dandai or the other leaders of Sabah Barisan Nasional when the Barisan Nasional could not name who is the Chief Minister-designate on February 19? Or is this because Sankaran Dandai and the other Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders could be defeated this weekend?
If the Barisan Nasional Sabah State General Election campaign has to be run by the UMNO leaders from Kuala Lumpur, then it follows logically that any Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government formed on Saturday would also have to be run by the UMNO leaders from the Federal capital!
The Barisan Nasional Manifesto in the Sabah state general elections for a ‘New Sabah’ is not the idea of the Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders, but a brainchild of the UMNO leaders from Kuala Lumpur – just as last year, in the UMNO party elec¬tions, they coined the slogan of ‘Melayu Baru’!
The Barisan Nasional’s call for a mandate for a ‘Sabah Baru’ however is most dishonest and irresponsible as it is based on five election promises which could not be achieved or ful¬filled even if Anwar Ibrahim is the Chief Minister of Sabah.
First impossible Sabah Baru Promise: Reduction of poverty level in Sabah from 33 per cent to zero in six years in 2,000
The first impossible Sabah Baru election promise made by the Barisan Nasional is to reduce the poverty level in Sabah from the present 33 per cent to zero in six years in 2,000.
Under the Second Outline Perspective Plan (1991-2000) presented by Dr, Mahathir to Parliament in June 1991, the Federal Government’s objective by 2000 is to reduce the incidence of poverty to 5.3 per cent for Peninsular Malaysia, 12.7 per cent for Sarawak and 20 per cent for Sabah.
Is the Barisan Nasional ‘Sabah Baru’ election manifesto really serious when it claims that it could abolish poverty in Sabah in six years when it could not abolish poverty in all the other states in Malaysia in 2,000?
Second impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ Promise: to increase Sabah’s per capita income from the present RM3.600 to RM10,000 in six years in 2,000
The second impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ election promise of the Barisan Nasional is to increase Sabah’s per capita income from the present RM3,600 to RM10.000 in six years in 2000.
Barisan Nasional leaders have been promising to raise the economic growth of Sabah from its present 4.4 per cent to the national growth rate of 8.1 per cent.
However, the Barisan Nasional leaders do not realise that, at the annual economic growth rate of 8.1 per cent, it would take Sabah 14 years before it could increase its per capita income from RM,6000 to EM10,000 – and this means the year 2008 and. not 2000.
This is again subject to one important qualification, that there is no population growth in these 14 years – when in fact, Sabah has one of the highest population increases largely because of the uncontrolled influx of Filipino and Indonesian illegal immigrants.
If Sabah is to increase its present per capita income from RM3,600 to EM10,000 in six years, Sabah would have to become the world’s fastest growing economy beating even China, registering annual economic growth of between 20 to 30 per cent until the year 2,000
If Sabah is to increase its per capita income from the present RM3,600 to RM10,000 in six years, with the population keeping constant, Sabah would have to achieve an annual economic growth of 18.6 per cent. If the population increase of Sabah is taken into account, this would need an annual economic growth rate of 20 to 30 per cent., which will make Sabah the fastest-growing economy in the world – faster than China which leads the world in economic growth today.
Is Anwar Ibrahim really promising that Sabah would become the world’s fastest-growing economy in the next six years to increase its per capita income from the present RM3,600 to RM30,000 in the year 2,000 – when he dare not make such a promise for any other state in Malaysia?
Third impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ promise – A house for every Sabahan by the year 2,000
The third impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ promise is to give every Sabahan a house by the year 2,000.
Low-cost housing is the greatest, failure of the Barisan Nasional Federal Government, in the past four decades.
In 1986, the Barisan Nasional Federal Government announced a RMS billion Special Low-Cost Housing Project (SLCHP) to build at first 240,000 and then 320,000 low-cost houses throughout the country in three years.
This three-year Special Low-Cost Housing Project has been extended to nine years till 1995, and from the latest re¬ports, less than 50 per cent of the targets had been completed although about eight years have elapsed.
It is no wonder that the MCA Minister for Housing, Dr. Ting Chew Pen, dare not come to Sabah to confirm that the Barisan Nasional could promise a house for .every Sabahan by the year 2,000 – when the Federal Government dare not even promise every Malaysian in Peninsular Malaysia a house by the year 2,020.
Fourth impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ promise: To resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah
The fourth impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ promise of the Barisan Nasional is that only it could resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, as if the Barisan Nasional never had. the opportunity to resolve this problem for nearly three decades.
In actual fact, it is the Federal Government which must bear full responsibility for creating the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah in its failure to resolve the problem when it was still of manageable proportion of between 100,000 to 200,000 in the 1970s. Now the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah is the biggest in the whole country with a magnitude ranging from 800,000 to one million.
The Barisan Nasional has no excuse to claim that it could not resolve the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah because the state government was not a Barisan Nasional member, as apart from the past 40 months when PBS pulled out of Barisan Nasional, the Sabah State Government had always been part of the Barisan Nasional or Alliance coalition.
Is Anwar Ibrahim seriously suggesting that the Federal Government is now prepared to conduct a thorough verification excercise to identify illegal Filipino and Indonesian immigrants who had obtained false identification papers which gave them citizenship and even voting rights and to repatriate all of them to their homeland and restore Sabah to genuine Sabahans?
Fifth impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ election promise: To eradicate corruption in Sabah
The fifth impossible ‘Sabah Baru’ election promise is the Barisan Nasional pledge to eradicate corruption in Sabah.
Dr. Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim had called on the people of Sabah to reject ‘corrupt leaders’ in the PBS, but they completely ignore the more serious problem of corruption at the Federal Government or in the other state governments controlled by Barisan Nasional.
DAP does not condone corruption of any form or whatev¬er the amount, but the fact must also foe faced that if we want to talk about corruption, corruption in Sabah as compared, to corrup¬tion in Malaysia is ‘flea’ compared with a ‘whale’!
Is the Barisan Nasional prepared to purge all corrupt leaders at the Federal Government and all Barisan Nasional-controlled State Governments? If not, who can believe that the Barisan Nasional would conduct a war against, corruption in Sabah when Barisan Nasional forms the next Sabah State Government?
Fung Ket Wing and Ang Liang Hai will be the spokesman of all Sabahans in the next Sabah State Assembly
In this Sabah state general elections, the Sabah DAP has fielded only two candidates, Sdr. Fung Ket Wing for Tanjong Papat and Sdr. Ang Lian Hai for Elopura constituencies. Both of them are Sabah DAP leaders who are tested, and tried in the cauldron of Sabah politics, who have over the years proved that they are dedicated Sabahans who regard politics as a serious commitment to serve the interests of the people. Unlike other Sabah politicians, they do not jump from one political party to anoth¬er.
If they are elected, they will be the spokesmen of Sabahans in the next Sabah state assembly.
If elected, they will give full support to the PBS Government to defend the rights of Sabahans against all unfair and discriminatory treatments and measures from the Federal Government. However, the nine years of PBS rule have also shown that a vigilant, courageous and articulate Opposition is needed in the State Assembly to expose the corruption and abuses of power of the PBS Government – not to hand Sabah to the Barisan Nasional, but to better the lot of Sabahans.
Both Ket Wing and Lian Hai can play a very crucial political role in the Sabah stats assembly at this stage of Sabah political development.
Nobody really knows what is going to happen on February 19, even though PBS seems set to be re-elected to form the next State Government.
If there should be any problem for Joseph Pairin and PBS Government with regard to the question of two-thirds majority in the State Assembly, the Sahah DAP stand has already been made public; that Ket Wing and Lian Hai would use their two votes in the Sabah Assembly to strengthen the PBS Government.
Nobody, however, rules out the possibility, that PBS would rejoin Barisan Nasional after the February 19 general elections, as PBS leaders have been hinting of such possibilities in their election speeches. The question is whether to join Barisan Nasional before or after February 19.
If PBS should join Barisan Nasional after the February 19 general elections, then it is even more important that the voters of Tanjong Papat and Elopura vote two DAP Assemblyrmen into the Sabah State State Assembly to represent not only their rights, but the rights of all Sabahans in a State Assembly which would otherwise be controlled by only one political party.