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Sarawakians should vote DAP candidates to go to Sarawak State Assembly to hold high the banner of integrity to support Abdullah’s reform pledge and programme to combat corruption


at the DAP election ceramah in Batu Lintang  constituency
by Lim Kit Siang

Kuching, Tuesday) : In Pending just now, I said that the people of Sarawak should vote for DAP candidates to ensure that there is a proper  check-and-balance in the Sarawak State Assembly as the next five years are perilous times for Sarawak, as they are the last five years of Taib Mahmud as Sarawak Chief Minister after 25 years as the head of the state government.  Remember the famous maxim of the British historian: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”!


This is in addition to the many reasons which Sarawak DAP leaders and candidates have given during the past week of the election campaign as to why voters should support the Rocket candidates – issues of oil price hikes, land titles, fair and just constituency developments, etc.


I wish to give another reason why voters should support the DAP  – not just for the sake of their respective constituencies with DAP candidates and the best interests of Sarawak, but also for the sake of Malaysia!


It is now 31 months since Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has become Prime Minister with his pledge to bring about government reform, promote national integrity and combat corruption. However, as I pointed out in Parliament in March, Abdullah has not got a good  30-month mid-term report.


In the March 2004 general election campaign, the Barisan Nasional took out full-page advertisements urging voters to support the Barisan Nasional to give Abdullah the chance to become a “modern-day Justice Bao” to clean up corruption in the country.

Those who follow the television or videos of Justice Bao will know of his team of lieutenants who helped him to fight corruption and power abuses regardless of rank or wealth – Zhan  Zhao, Gongsun Ce,  Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu. I specifically asked in Parliament who were Abdullah’s  Zhan Zhao, Gongsun Ce,  Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long and Zhao Hu?


Although UMNO MPs did not understand what I was saying in Parliament, the SUPP, MCA and Gerakan MPs understood, and none of them dared to say anything!


In the early years of the Abdullah premiership, the people were  told of 18  “high profile” corruption cases waiting to be nabbed, but now, they have all escaped into  the South China Sea – the “sharks” enjoying immunity and impunity! No wonder  there are people who now talk about the new culture of “close one eye” for “ikan bilis” corruption, but “close both eyes” for “ikan yu” corruption!


The reason why Abdullah had been able to win an unprecedented landslide victory in the March 2004 general election securing dominance of  92 per cent of the parliamentary seats is because of his reform pledge and programme to clean up the government and the people’s hope and trust that he would deliver his promise.


So far, however, Abdullah has very little to show, as he seems to lack the political base and support inside his own party although he is   well-intentioned and personally committed to government reform.


Even Abdullah’s public support of the key recommendation of the Police Royal Commission to establish the Independent Police Complaints  and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)  has run into difficulties  with UMNO leaders and MPs turning against him by openly declaring their opposition to the IPCMC proposal.


DAP MPs are now the strongest supporters of Abdullah both inside and outside Parliament  in his campaign against corruption as there has been total silence and quiet opposition  from Barisan Nasional MPs.


We must not allow Abdullah’s reform programme and pledge  as well as  the campaign to combat corruption to be ‘killed off” by Barisan Nasional leaders, MPs and State  Assembly representatives.


The people of Sarawak has the opportunity on May 20 to elect DAP candidates into the Sarawak State Assembly to support Abdullah’s reform pledge and programme to uphold national integrity and combat corruption.


If the DAP can win a strong presence in the Sarawak State Assembly, I will be able to stand up in Parliament next month to call on  the Prime Minister not to  lose heart or let-up  in his campaign against corruption, as he has the support of the ordinary people as illustrated by the election of DAP Sarawak Assembly representatives on a clear programme of supporting Abdullah in the campaign against corruption.


If the DAP succeeds in sending several representatives to the Sarawak State Assembly on Saturday, I suggest that one of the first things they should do is to move a motion in the Sarawak State Assembly requiring all Ministers including the Chief Minister to publicly declare their assets and their next-of-kin to fly high the banner of integrity in Sarawak and Malaysia.


*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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