by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, June 25, 1994:
The first 100 days of Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government has raised anew the question whether the Barisan Nasional was serious and sincere in making corruption the top issue in the Sabah state general elections
Yesterday was the first 100 days of the Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government. During the Sabah state general elections, the Barisan Nasional promised the people of Sabah that they could begin to see results from the Barisan Nasional’s general election manifesto in the first hundred days.
However, it has taken the Barisan Nasional 100 days to decide on its hierarchy of Kadazan leaders in Sabah.
The DAP is not interested as to which Kadazan leaders succeed in getting the ‘plums’ of defection and how the spoils of office are divided among the various new Kadazan-based political parties in Sabah – who are united by their common act of disloyalty to PBS and former Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
What Malaysians in general and Sabahans in particular must be concerned is that the first hundred days of Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government has raised anew the question whether the Barisan Nasional was serious and sincere in making corruption the top issue in the last Sabah state general elections .
In the Sabah state general elections, both the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on Sabahans to reject ‘corrupt leaders’ as their primary campaign theme.
Who were these ‘corrupt leaders’ the Barisan Nasional were aiming at? At that time, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan had been convicted of one corruption charge and two corruption charges were still awaiting trial.
His brother, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan who was Sabah Foundation director, had also been charged on seven counts of corruption and released on a million-ringgit bail. Jeffrey also had a summons case pending against him for failing to declare his assets worth more than RM40 million in a sworn statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency in 1989.
On 14th June, 1994 all the seven corruption charges against Jeffrey were withdrawn in the Kota Kinabalu High Court without reasons being given and on 18th June, Jeffrey was acquitted and discharged by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court of not declaring his or his wife’s full assets.
Six days later, announcement was made that Jeffrey Kitingan would be made a Senator and Federal Deputy Minister.
Despite Jeffrey Kitingan’s acquittal and discharge, Sabahans and Malaysians are entitled to ask what is Jeffrey’s total assets if he had failed to declare RM40 million of his assets in Hong Kong.
‘Achievement’ of first hundred days of Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government – the transformation of a symbol of ‘corruption’ into a personalification of ‘integrity and morality’
Be that as it may, in the Sabah state general elections, when Barisan Nasional made the ‘rejection of corrupt leaders’ was it main campaign theme, Malaysians envisaged the main targets as the two Pairin brothers.
However, suddenly, the scenario changed, and today, one brother continues to be identified as a ‘corrupt leader’ while another brother has become the symbol of a ‘clean, honest, and moral leader.
This is the only ‘achievement’ of the first hundred days of Barisan Nasional State Government – the transformation of a symbol of ‘corruption’ into a personification of ‘integrity and morality’.
Can the Barisan Nasional Sabah State Government explain the basis for this ‘achievement’ in its first 100 days of rule in Sabah?