Pakatan won’t let go of Sabah

We’re here to stay and fight for a better tomorrow for Sabahans, says Lim Kit Siang in response to calls for the opposition coalition not to contest in the general election.

Queville To, FMT

Sabah’s go-it-alone opposition leaders Yong Teck Lee and Jeffrey Kitingan will not get a free ride from Pakatan Rakyat in the general election.

Pakatan-friendly groupings in Sabah, Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) led by independent MPs Wilfred Bumburing and Lajim Ukin, are keen to take on the Barisan Nasional in Sabah in the 13th general election.

“I can assure you Pakatan is here to fight for a better tomorrow for Sabah,” said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang during a fundraising dinner at Star City Convention centre on Saturday.

He was responding to calls by the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and STAR Sabah leaders for Pakatan not to contest in Sabah and allow the former to take on the BN here.

Lim’s blunt rejection of the call also short-circuits attempts by a local independent NGO, Demokrasi Sabah (Desah), to broker a deal for opposition parties to have a “one-on-one” fight with the BN and avoid a split in the votes that could give BN seats they would otherwise lose.

Lim’s speech before several of Pakatan’s top leaders including PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, his deputy Azmin Ali, PAS deputy president Mat Sabu, DAP Sabah chief Jimmy Wong, Kota Kinabalu MP Hiew King Cheu, PAS Sabah Commissioner Aminuddin Aling and PKR Sabah chief Thamrin Jaini indicates no change in Pakatan’s election startegy.

Lim also used the opportunity to challenge Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Tun Razak, who is also Umno president, to declare “zero-tolerance” for corruption by using the Automated Enforcement System (AES) during the coming Umno general assembly this week.

“I challenge him to declare corruption as Umno’s number one enemy,” said Lim, adding that if the AES for corruption was introduced, those with unusual amounts of wealth must be charged and brought to court.

Najib must prove ‘best democracy’ claim

The veteran DAP leader said if any person fails to prove in court that the wealth was not obtained by lawful means, he or she should then be arrested and their properties seized.

Noting that Malaysia’s ranking in terms of global transparency had plummeted, he said that if there was no improvement, China would soon overtake Malaysia in this aspect.

Lim challenged Najib to prove that he really believed in 1Malaysia by fighting for Ketuanan Rakyat (people supremacy) rather than the Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).

He said Najib must also prove that Malaysia really is the best democracy in the world by assuring a peaceful transition of power in the event the BN is defeated in the election.

“He must declare that if BN and Umno lose the election, they must in a gentlemanly manner move out from Putrajaya,” Lim said in response to Najib’s defiant statement that since the government was not “broken” therefore there was no need to change it.

Lim, the MP for Ipoh Timur, reiterated Mat Sabu’s warning earlier that the BN was doing its best to break up the opposition and diminish its growing grassroots support across the nation.

“But we will not fall into their trap and we are more united and stronger than ever,” said Lim.

Mat Sabu concurred with the widely-held notion that the opposition should work towards a one-on-one fight with the BN to stand any chance of winning more seats.

He said PAS’ struggle was not merely to become the government as trumpeted by the mainstream media.

He said if this was true “it is better for PAS to join the BN and I will definitely become a minister”.