by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and. MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, February 21, 1994:
The swearing-in of Joseph Pairin as Sabah Chief Minister has foiled the 36-hour illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional attempt to derail democracy in Sabah
The swearing-in of Joseph Pairin Kitingan as Sabah Chief Minister has foiled the 36-hour illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional attempt to derail democracy in Sabah.
For 36 hours, Sabah and Malaysia were again the focus of the world as the question is again asked as to whether democracy has struck deep roots in the country where the Barisan Nasional leaders are prepared to accept the verdict of the voters, even if it means defeat and rejection.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said that the Sabah State Constitution provision allowing the Sabah Chief Minister to appoint six Assemblymen is undemocratic.
I agree. However, the Barisan Nasional attempt to delay the swearing-in of Joseph Pairin in order to ‘engineer’ a Barisan Nasional majority through the defection of PBS Assemblymen is even more undemocratic as well as illegal and unconstitutional.
The Barisan Nasional’s hand in the 36-hour crisis for democracy in Sabah and Malaysia is unmistakable, especially in the statement by Dr. Mahathir yesterday that the Sabah Yang di Pertua could not establish who should be sworn in as Chief Minister because he could, not determine who had the confidence of the majority of the elected representatives.
The Barisan Nasional must learn a lesson from the 36-hour crisis of democracy, that it must respect the right of the people to have the final power to decide who wins and who loses in the general elections, and that the Barisan National should not try to frustrate this democratic process or penalise the people for not voting Barisan Nasional.
Barisan Nasional should not use democracy as an instrument to serve its own interests and to truncate it when this does not serve Barisan Nasional interest – like freedoms of speech, public rallies, press freedoms etc. Democracy is not to serve the interests of Barisan Nasional but the higher interests of the people and the country!
DAP calls for amendment to the Malaysian Constitution to make ‘party-hopping’ by MPs and Assemblymen illegal
To ensure that there will in future be no repetition of illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional attempts at power-grabs like the 36-hour crisis of democracy in Sabah or the 1985 Sabah incident, DAP calls for the amendment of the Malaysian Constitution in the April meeting of Parliament to make ‘party-hopping’ by MPs and Assemblymen illegal.
A MP or Assemblyman who resigns or is no more in the political party on whose ticket he was elected must be deemed to have automatically vacated his seat, causing a by-election to be held.
This will help the raise the level of morality and integrity among elected representatives in Malaysia and check the buying and selling of elected representatives as if they are just commodities up for sale to the highest bidder!