Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the dinner with Kadazan representatives at Windbelll Restaurant, Kota Kinabalu on Friday, 26th February 2010 at 9 pm:
UMNO/BN betrayed its pledge of power-sharing by rotation of Sabah Chief Minister’s post when in past 16 years, the CM post held by Kadazan natives for 9 months, Chinese for 4 years and Umno for more than 11 years
It is coming to a year since Datuk Seri Najib Razak became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia bombarding Malaysians with his multi-million ringgit “1Malaysia” slogan and campaign.
It is sad and ironical that despite such high-intensity 1Malaysia publicity campaign in the past 11 months, Malaysians have never been more polarized both on race and religion, reminding Malaysians that they are even further from the goal of a united Malaysian nation, as illustrated by issues such as the Allah controversy, the burning of churches and attack of mosques and other places of religious worship, the cow-head and pig-head incidents; irresponsible politicking of race and religion as the mischievous attempt by Umno leaders and Umno-controlled media to paint the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government as anti-Malay and anti-Islam; the racist brain-washing courses conducted by Biro Tata Negara of the Prime Minister’s Department, resulting in “ultra” statements like dismissing the Chinese and Indians as “pendatang” and defaming the Indians as coming to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese women coming as prostitutes; the rise of what UMNO elder statesman Tengku Razaleigh has described as “rabid racism” like the surfacing of organizations like Perkasa, etc.
Everywhere and everyday in Malaysia, there are more evidence of the absence of 1Malaysia rather than its presence.
In Kota Kinabalu today, I saw new evidence of the absence rather than the presence of 1Malaysia – with two conflicting and competing sets of billboards, banners and advertisements of Chinese New Year greetings by MCA in Sabah.
There is one set of Chinese New Year greetings by the “stand-alone” Sabah MCA Chairman Edward Khoo, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister competing with another set of Chinese New Year greetings featuring the lame-duck MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat accompanied by his Sabah MCA claque of supporters.
When under his leadership, the Barisan Nasional and its component parties cannot present a united front, like having 1MCA, 1Umno, 1Gerakan, 1Barisan Nasional, what credence and credibility can there be for Najib’s 1Malaysia?
Is there 1Sabah?
2013 in three years’ time mark Sabah’s 50th anniversary in the formation of Malaysia. It is appropriate in preparing for the occasion to seriously assess whether the dreams of Sabahans in 1963 to form Malaysia together with Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed.
Have the people of Sabah been granted their full citizenship rights as Malaysians in the past five decades?
Let the debate and soul-searching begin as to how one of the richest states in Sabah had been reduced in five decades to become the poorest state in the federation.
In the nineties, the Barisan Nasional promised Sabahans that poverty in Sabah would be eradicated in the year 2,000. However, instead of abolishing poverty in 2000, Sabah’s poverty rate became the worst in the whole of the country.
Barisan Nasional next promised that hard-core poverty in Sabah would be abolished in 2010. This is another candidate heading for the mountainous dump heap of Barisan Nasional broken promises, in Sabah and in Malaysia!
Sabahans and Malaysians remember that to topple the PBS Sabah government, Umno and Barisan Nasional pledged that if they come to power in Sabah, they would be genuine power-sharing through the rotation of the post of Sabah Chief Minister among the three major communities in the state.
What is the Umno/Barisan Nasional record of their rule of Sabah in the past 16 years since 1994?
UMNO/BN had betrayed their pledge of power-sharing by rotation of Sabah Chief Minister’s post as in the past 16 years, the Chief Minister’s post was held by a Kadazan native for 9 months, Chinese for 4 years and Umno for more than 11 years!
Nothing could be more eloquent than this episode to highlight the enormity of the breach of faith and betrayal of pledge of Umno/Barisan Nasional to the people of Sabah in the past 16 years of their rule of Sabah.
This is a far cry from the great promises shared by Sabahans in the early decades of nationhood.
Earlier today, together with DAP MPs Hiew King Cheu (Kota Kinabalu), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and DAP Kadazan leaders Edward Muji and Jeffrey Kumin, I revisited the “Double Six” Mausoleum to pay respects to the great Sabah sons who perished in the Triple Six tragedy of June 6, 1976 – Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens and State Ministers, Datuk Salleh Sulong, Datuk Peter Mojuntin and Chong Thien Vun.
Almost exactly 32 years ago on February 25, 1978, I had first visited the “Double Six” Mausoleum as well as the grave of Peter Mojuntin at St. Michael’s Church, Penampang.
Sabah history would be very different today if not for the tragic air crash of June 6, 1976 wiping out the core of the Sabah cabinet.
It is time that Kadazans and Sabahans reflect what went wrong that the rights of Kadazans and ordinary Sabahans had become so emasculated and marginalized while the vast rich resources had been monopolized by a few.
In this connection, the time has also come for the Federal Government to lift the ban on the biography of Peter Mojuntin, “The Golden Son of the Kadazans”, written by my old friend and DAP comrade, Bernard Sta Maria, who was Malacca State Assemblyman.
The book was banned on June 22 1978 on grounds of public security and order.
This is utterly unacceptable. Those who disagree with the interpretation of events in the life of Peter Mojuntin can write a rebuttal or come out with their own publications – but there can be no justification or excuse for the ban of the book “The Golden Son of the Kadazans”.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor