Who caused the down fall of the PBS Government and Joseph Pairin in March 1994?

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, when inaugurating the Penampang DAP Branch protem committee on Wednesday, 6th April 1994 at 8p.m.

Who caused the down fall of the PBS Government and Joseph Pairin in March 1994?

Dr. Jefferey Kitingan raised a most interesting and important issue when he said yesterday that he was not the cause of the PBS downfall, and that the fate of the PBS was sealed when it decided to withdraw from the Barisan Nasional on the eve of the 1990 general election.

He also said that he was against the PBS pull-out from the Barisan Nasional but he had “received the comsequences of the pull-put most”, referring to his three-year detention under the Internal Security Act.

It is most revealing that Jefferey does not think money politics, the buying and selling of Assemblymen and their betrayal of their party and the voters in the February Sabah state Government and Joseph Pairin as Sabah Chief Minister.

Jefferey’s political thinking seems to have reached a stage where principles, honour, morality, and integrity have no place in politics or public affairs, that there is nothing wrong when elected representatives abuse the trust placed on them by the electorate in the Sabah state general elections by defecting from one political party to another.

In justifying party defections and unprincipled politics, Jefferey is doing his own credibility and integrity a great disservice.

If Jefferey is right that PBS ‘pull-out from Barisan Nasional is the true cause for the ‘sinking of the PBS ship’, then the advocates of the pull-out must be regarded as the persons most responsible for PBS’ collapse. Who are they?

The popular perception in Sabah and Malaysia had always regarded Yong Teck Lee, Bernard Dompok and Jefferey as the trio most responsible for the PBS pull-out from Barisan Nasional on the eve of the 1990 general elections. Jefferey has now denied that he had been one of the PBS ‘hawks’, and that he had always been a ‘dove’.

This could only mean that the ‘hawks’responsible for PBS’ pull-out in 1990 were Yong Teck Lee and Bernard Tompok.

Sabahans and Malaysians must be flabbergasted by this latest twist of events- when the trio who were generally regarded as the PBS ‘hawks’ now claim to be ‘doves’, with Yong Teck Lee safely ensconced in the Barisan Nasional State Government while Jefferey is competing with Bernard Dompok and Joseph Kurup to be the Barisan Nasional Kadazan leader in Sabah.

What is most important is how Jefferey had acquired the reputation not only as one of the PBS ‘hawks’, but as the ‘hawkiest’ of the PBS ‘hawks’, to be extent that he was detained under the Internal Secutiry Act for three years.

If Jefferey had never been a ‘hawk’ but had always been a ‘dove’, how could the Federal Government, with its police and intelligence resources, make such a great mistake as to regard their ‘ally’ in PBS as their greatest foe, as to result in his detention under the ISA for alleged complicity in a plot to tske Sabah out of Malaysia for three years?

It is a strange political spectacle that PBS leaders whi had until recently been regarded as the primary ‘hawks’ are now competing to be ‘doves’ in the Barisan Nasional!

Recently , Jefferey has not only been making many very perplexing moves, but also making a lot of confusing statements. The most recent one is his statement that the termination of his appointment that the termination of his appointment as Sabah Foundation Director by the Sabah Barisan Nasional State Government was against the assurances given to him by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed and the Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but this has been contradicted by Dr. Mahathir in Kuala Lumpur yesterday when the Prime Minister said no such assurances had ever been given either by him or Anwar Ibrahim.

At a time when many political leaders are trying to rewrite or revise Sabah political history- and the most recent history at that- Sabahans and Malaysians can be excused for their sense of outrage that there is no honour, shame or principles among politicians.

The DAP’s formation of a new branch in Penampang is, among things, to establish that not all politicians are self-serving, unprincipled and opportunistic.

DAP welcomes Sabahans who believe in the political struggle of the DAP to create a just, equal, free and democratic Malaysia to join our ranks.

DAP has nothing to offer to its members- as we cannot promise any momentary gain, business license or permits, government contracts, positions or title.

What we offer is an opportunity to fight for our basic rights and those of our children as equal Malaysian citizens to an equal place under the Malaysian sun.

All those who join the DAP must not think of personal gain or any short-term benefit, but long-term political struggle including personal sacrifices, to promote justice, equality, freedom, solidarity amd national unity.

Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders more interested in creating more positions for themselves than in serving the interests of Sabahans.

Although Mahathir has promised a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ Barisan Nasional government in Sabah , the Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders are more interested in creating more positions and opportunities for their self-advancement than in serving the interests of Sabahans.

For instance, the competition for position and spoils of office has resulted in a serious proposal that there should be constitutional amendments to increase the number of Sabah Cabinet posts from the present nine to 12m as well as the increase of the present number of 14 deputy ministers.

If Sabah has 12 Cabinet Ministers, this will mean Sabah will have 23 per cent of its 52 Assemblymen as Cabinet Ministers. This percentage will be higher rising to 25 per cent if the Barisan Nasional fulfils its election pledge to abolish the six nominated state assemblymen posts.

This will make the percentages of Cabinet Ministers in the State legislature higher than in the Federal Government, which is about 10 per cent- as there are about 24 Federal Cabinet posts in a Parliament of about 240 MPs, both elected MPs as well as Senators.

If we take into account the deputy ministers- which will be increased to at least 20 if there is an increase of three Cabinet Ministers- then 32 out of 48 or 54 Assemblymen would be either Ministers or Deputy Ministers. This is a most ridiculous situation.

Before the Sabah Barisan Nasional think about creating new posts for themselves, they should first deliver the numerous election promises which have been made by the Barisan Nasional.

What type of ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government when the Barisan Nasional Federal Government could allow such a scandalous situation where all the five lifts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has broken down, endangering the sickand injured.

Sabahans must ask what type of a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government the Barisan Nasional is promising m when the Federal Government could allow such a scandalous situation where all the five lifts at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in KK to breakdown, endangering the sick and the injured?

A government which has the most rudimentary concern about being efficient and trustworthy would never allow such a deplorable situation to develop. The hospital is under the direct charge of the Barisan Nasional Federal Government and if it could be efficient and competent in its direct areas of responsibility and show that it is a ‘caring’ government, how could the State Barisan Nasional state government be expected to be any better?

If there is a government hospital in Peninsular Malaysia where all the lifts are allowed to break down, and the sick and injured had to be carried manually up various storeys for operations or other treatment, it would have created a national uproar, with Ministers, including the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, expressing consternation and indignation and the government officers responsible for such ineptitude put on the mat.

But the Sabah Barisan Nasional Government and in particular, the new Chief Minister, Tan Sri Sankaran Dandai, seem to be unmoved by such a deplorable example of utter government incompetence, inefficiency and untrustworthiness.

This is not a good omen for the Sabah Barisan Nasional Government for the future.