Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 22nd August 2012:
DAP to hold "Janji DiTepati" public hearings throughout Sabah
Together with DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng, and accompanied by Sabah DAP leaders headed by DAP Sabah Chairman and State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong, Jimmy Wong Tze Phin, Sabah State Vice Chairman Edward Muji, Sabah State Secretary Dr. Edwin Bosi, Sabah State Organising Secretary Jeffrey Kumin, Sabah State Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin and DAP MP for Kota Kinabalu Dr. Hiew King Cheu, I have just completed a four-day 500-km visit to Sabah, covering Kota Marudu, Tip of Borneo, Kg Bavang Jamal, Kudat, Kg Masangkong Matunggong, Ranau, Penampang, Tawau and Sandakan.
The trip, planned as a DAP political reach-out programme to northern Sabah interior as well as visit to Tawau and Sandakan, turned out to be a "Janji Ditepati" study tour - or to be more accurate, a "Janji Tidak Ditepati" (JTD) study tour, as everywhere, we were told of the complaints and disappointments of Sabahans at the broken promises and pledges by the Barisan Nasional governments, both Federal and State.
As I said to the Karamunting ceramah capacity crowd in Sandakan last night, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should establish a "Janji Ditepati" Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in Sabah or lead Federal and Sabah State Ministers in public hearings in the 23 Sabah districts to hear the views of the people of Sabah whether the Barisan Nasional had fulfilled or broken its various promises in Sabah.
We are giving the Prime Minister 48 hours to respond to this proposal for a "Janji Ditepati" RCI or to spearhead a series of Public Hearings in Sabah.
If there is no response from Najib in the next 48 hours, Sabah DAP will plan to hold "Janji Ditepati" public hearings throughout Sabah on whether Barisan Nasional promises to the people of Sabah have been fulfilled or broken.
The idea of a "Janji Ditepati" series of public hearings in Sabah was born out of the very widespread discontent and even exasperation expressed by Sabahans throughout the state at the failure of the Barisan Nasional to fulfil its numerous promises to the people of Sabah - to the extent that the slogan "Janji Ditepati" has become quite a joke among Sabahans.
Undoubtedly, one of the top issues among Sabahans where BN has failed to fulfil its promises is on the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants, despite the recent announcement by the Prime Minister on the establishment of a RCIII (Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants) in Sabah.
In fact, in the various talks and ceramahs I had in the past four days in Kota Marudu, Kg Bavang Jamal in Kudat, Kg Masangkong in Matunggong, Ranau, Kepayang, Tawau and Sandakan, the Sabahans who attended were quite unanimous in expressing their lack of confidence in the RCI as a genuine and sincere solution to the grave four-decades old problem of illegal immigrants in the state.
The areas where Barisan Nasional had failed to live up to its 55th Merdeka Day/49th Malaysia Day theme of "Janji Ditepati" could generally be referred to as the 2Cs and 2Is in Sabah.
The 2Cs are crime and corruption and 2Is are illegal immigrants and infrastructure neglect in Sabah.
For instance, the stretch of road from Kota Belud to Kota Marudu (the latter the parliamentary constituency of a Federal Minister) at Ulu Kukut must rank as one with the worst road conditions in the country with the atrocious condition lasting for years - which is a crying shame for Sabah which formed Malaysia 49 years ago as one of the richest states in the federation.
In Kota Marudu and throughout the state, the NCR controversy cries out as a prominent and priority example where BN has failed to live up to its slogan of "Janji Ditepati".
At Kg Bavang Jamal, "Janji Ditepati" again became a joke as water pipes were provided there since 1986 but with no piped water supply in the past 26 years!
At Tip of Borneo, which can rightfully boasts of having "best sunset, best surf, best wind of Borneo", "Janji Ditepati" became a subject of mockery as since the time of Tan Sri Chong Kah Keat as Chief Minister and Tourism Minister, this great tourist attraction had been neglected by both the Federal and state governments.
In Ranau, there were evidence galore where BN had failed to measure up to "Janji Ditepati" - whether the poisoned wasteland left behind by the Mamut Copper Mine (MCM) after earning some RM3.4 billion export revenues in 24 years (1974-1999) for the Japanese, Australian and Malaysian owners or the serious allegations of power abuses about land use and alienation against local Ranau people after the reversion of the MCM land lease to the state government.
In Tawau and Sandakan, the people could themselves list out the major items where BN had failed in "Janji Ditepati" - in both places, the most basic infrastructure needs of water, power and highways.
Sandakan is particularly pathetic and the time is long overdue to check Sandakan's decline and to restore some of its former glory.
Sandakan was once the premier centre of Sabah. It was the former capital of British North Borneo for 62 years from 1884 to 1946 until World War II when the capital was transferred to Jesselton (later named Kota Kinabalu).
Today Sandakan has lost out to Tawau and even to Miri and Bintulu in Sarawak as all the trio have international airports but not Sandakan.
This is why I said in Karamunting last night that if Pakatan Rakyat forms the federal government in Putrajaya in the 13th general election, the new PR government will in the first 100 days approve the construction of an international airport for Sandakan.
Yesterday, the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman followed the Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud and said that the state's five per cent petroleum royalty review issue is open for discussion.
Taib said a day earlier that the Sarawak state government would discuss the need to review the five per cent petroleum royalty paid to Sarawak with the federal government.
This is a vindication of the relevance and role of Pakatan Rakyat and demonstration of People's Power.
The people of Sabah and Malaysia will remember that it was only two weeks ago that Musa dismissed Pakatan Rakyat's demand for increase of state oil royalty from five to 20 per cent as "illogical", but he has now to change position because of Pakatan Rakyat, the relevance and legitimacy of PR demands and the approaching 13th General Election.
But it is not good enough for the Sabah and Sarawak chief ministers to talk vaguely about "open for discussion" as what the people of Sabah and Sarawak want is for them to endorse Pakatan Rakyat's demand for the increase of state oil royalty from five to 20 per cent.
Will the Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers do it?
Otherwise, the oil royalty issue will feature as one of the top issues where Barisan Nasional has failed in its slogan of "Janji Ditepati".
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor