Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Sandakan Airport before leaving for Kota Kinabalu on Thursday, 17th February 1994 at 9.30 a.m.
Voters of Tanjong Papat and Elopura should elect Fung Ket Wing and Ang Lian Hai to be Safoab Assemblymen as they will not be afraid to stand up for the rights of Sabahans against Joseph Pairin or Mahathir
I had asked the people of Tanjong Papat and. Elopura to vote Fung Ket Wing and Ang Lian Hai as Sabah State Assemblymen as a ‘political insurance’ for the people and state of Sabah, as after February 19, there is great possibility of PBS returning to Barisan Nasional.
Should such a scenario take place, the people of Sabah would have nobody to speak up for them or to look after their interests in the Sabah State Assembly if Ket Wing and Lian Hai are not Assemblymen, for then the entire Assembly will all come from the Barisan Nasional.
Anything can take place in the Sabah political scene after February 19, not only PBS rejoining Barisan Nasional, but or a new Sabah Chief Minister taking over from Datuk Joseph Pairin kitingan.
Whatever the political changes that could take place in Sabah politics after February 19, one thing the people of Sabah can be assured: that the two DAP Assemblymen – if Ket Wing and Lian Hai are elected this Saturday – would remain steadfast and consistent to speak up for the people and protect their rights and interests.
There is another reason why the people of Tanjong Papat and Elopura should vote Ket “ing and Lian Hai to be Sabah Assemblymen, as they will not be afraid to stand up for the rights of Sabahans against Joseph Pairin or Dr, Mahathir Mohamed himself.
After leaving PBS, Yong Teck Lee has alleged that Joseph Pairin was high-handed and dictatorial in running PBS, and that he was not consulted before important decisions in the party and government were made.
He also said that he objected to the privatisation of Sabah Forest Industry (SFI) to a Kuala Lumpur group without open tender, but Teck Lee had not dared to resign as State Minister if he had objected strongly to the privatisation of SFI.
The question is, how could anyone believe that Yonq Teck Lee would dare to stand up to Dr. Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim in Barisan Nasional if he dared not stand up to Joseph Pairin in the PBS?
The people of Sabah need not have doubts that Ket Wing and Lian Hai would be completely different from Yong Teck Lee, In fact, Ket Wing had during his three terms as MP for Sandakan from 1978 to 1990 stood up not only to the previous Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Karris Salleh – and was suspended from Parliament but even’ to stand up to the Prime Minister himself.
I am intrigued by Anwar also criticising the Sabah state government for privatising SFI to a Kuala Lumpur Group, instead of giving preference to Sabahans.
Fung Ket Wing had questioned the SFI privatisation before anyone had done so – but unfortunately Ket Wing was not in the Sabah State Assembly, or he might have stopped the SFI privatisation.
I had also questioned the SFI privatisation in June last year when I was in Sabah to climb Mount Kinabalu.
But there had been no questioning of the SFI privatisation whatsoever by Anwar Ibrahim, although he had the power to do so, until the Sabah state – general elections.
Before implementing its privatisation decision, the Sabah State Government had to get the approval of -the Federal Government – which means his approval as Finance Minister.
Why didn’t Anwar stop or at least query Sabah State Government why preference had not been given to a Sabah company instead of to a Kuala Lumpur Group?
This shows that Anwar Ibrahim is only interested in ‘playing polities’ with the issue of the privatisation of SFI, rather in wanting to ensure that the interests of Sabahans should have priority.