Is the 2013 Budget Najib's silver bullet to win the 13th GE?

After the presentation of the 2013 Budget by the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament last Friday, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin praised the 2013 budget as “the best to date”, and such superlative praises have been taken up by the other Barisan Nasional leaders.

Muhyiddin also denied that the 2013 Budget is an “election budget”. No MP whether from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat would agree with him. In fact, I don’t think Muhyiddin himself believes his own denial.

But whether the 2013 Budget will be remembered by Umno/BN leaders as “the best budget” in the past 55 years will depend on whether it is the “silver bullet” for Najib to win the 13th General Election with a two-thirds parliamentary majority or whether it would result in his becoming the last UMNO Prime Minister or a prelude for him to be toppled as UMNO President and Prime Minister in a repeat scenario like what happened to Tun Abdullah in 2009 – becoming the latest “trophy” of Tun Mahathir who would have the scalps of three DPMs and two PMs in the bag!

It is precisely because Najib has no confidence that the 2012 Budget, despite giving goodies for almost every sector of the electorate, would be the “silver bullet” that he has kept postponing the dissolution of Parliament and acquired the dubious record of being the Prime Minister without an elected mandate of his own for the longest period when compared to all the previous four Prime Ministers after Tunku Abdul Rahman, including his father Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

It is also because of this signal lack of confidence that he made dubious history in transforming the 2013 Budget into a brazen electioneering speech.

Najib took MPs and the listening public by surprise when he devoted the first six paragraphs of his 2012 Budget speech appealing to Malaysians for continued electoral support for Umno/BN government after 55 years, and hurled charges and insinuations against Pakatan Rakyat.

But he outdid himself at the end of his budget speech when he devoted the last 14 paragraph of his 174-paragraph budget speech on an unashamed glorification of UMNO/BN rule and condemned Pakatan Rakyat, causing many to shake their heads with the common complaint that the 2013 Budget presentation was a poor reflection on the “class” and “standard” both on the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister as well as on the annual budget.

It is evident that the 2013 Budget presentation hid a very unconfident Najib who is haunted and hounded by the phobia that his fourth budget speech as Finance Minister may be the last Umno/BN budget in Parliament in the nation’s history.

This is why despite all the chest-thumping and braggadocio of supreme confidence that Malaysia will witness six more budgets to be tabled by the Umno/BN Government to transform Malaysia from middle to a high-income developed country, Najib has continued to play the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To Be or Not To Be”, agonizing over whether “To dissolve or not to dissolve Parliament” since last year.

In the conclusion of the 2013 Budget presentation, Najib said:

“We are aware that there are parties requesting to be given a chance to form the next Government. In a democratic country, we understand that they too have their rights. It is the rakyat who ultimately decides who will be given the mandate through the ballot box.”

Although the Prime Minister conceded that it is within the rights of political parties in a democracy to seek to be given a chance to form the next Government and that it is the rakyat who ultimately decides who will be given the mandate through the ballot box, the glaring omission was his failure to declare and pledge clearly and unequivocally that he would personally ensure and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power for the first time in the nation’s history if this is the verdict of the electorate through the ballot box – to tell the world that Malaysia has become a normal democracy, a basic condition to become, in Najib’s own words, “the best democracy in the world”!

I had in fact posed this question to the Prime Minister many times in the past three years, but he has declined to break his silence despite his infamous speech of UMNO defending Putrajaya at all cost “even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost”, raising the question whether he and UMNO really want Malaysia to be the “world’s best democracy”.

In normal democracies, whether the United Kingdom, European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States or even in Japan, none of their citizens would doubt that there would be peaceful transition of power from one political party or political coalition to another, whether at the national or state level, if this is the verdict of the electorate in a general election.

But this is not the case in Malaysia. In fact, we are still a very long way from being a normal democracy, when even the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers, UMNO and all the component Barisan Nasional parties are still not prepared to make a clear and unequivocal commitment for a peaceful transition of federal power if this is the decision of the electorate in the next general election!

Najib cannot delay any further in making a public commitment to accept and facilitate a peaceful transition of federal power in the next general election if this is the verdict of the electorate or he would be proving right the recent description of him as a “false democrat” who “hold elections but have no intention of giving up power”.

Najib as “Father of Transformation’?

PM Najib prides himself as the ‘Father of Transformation’ or ‘Bapa Transformasi’ because of the spate of transformation initiatives which he has launched since taking over as Prime Minister in 2009. He has certainly transformed the Malaysian lexicon by introducing an alphabet soup of acronyms such as the ETP, GTP, NKRA, NKEA, SRI, NEM, BR1M and KR1M, just to name a few. The expensive consultants who conceived of these terms have certainly benefitted from these transformation initiatives. But the positive impact on the man on the street is far less apparent.

While the Prime Minister still sounds positive about his transformation initiatives, his budget tells us a different story. The budgetary allocations for ETP and GTP related initiatives have decreased for the past two years, from a high of RM15.5b in 2011 to RM8.3b in 2013, a reduction of 46.5%. The allocation for the 6 NKRAs under the GTP has decreased by 47%, from RM9.5b in 2011 to RM5.0b in 2013. The allocation for the 12 NKEAs under the ETP has decreased by 45%, from RM6b in 2011 to RM3.3b in 2013.

The decrease in the allocation for the GTP raises three important questions. Firstly, have the desired KPIs in the NKRAs been achieved? Secondly, even with the decrease in the budgetary allocations, have the funds been properly allocated?

Thirdly, is the decrease in funding for the GTP a sign that PM Najib is slowly but surely abandoning the GTP in favor of direct cash handouts in order to buy votes in the run up to the next general election?

The answer to the first question is an obvious NO. According to the GTP Annual Report 2012, the 2012 targets were much more aggressive compared to the 2011 targets. For example, the length of roads to be built was increased from 905km in 2011 to 1350 in 2012, an increase of 49%. The number of houses to be connected with clean water and a regular electricity supply was increased from 58087 and 26822 in 2011 to 201192 and 39442 respectively in 2012, an increase of 246% and 47% respectively. This is supposed to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation. Presumably the targets for 2013 would also be higher. And yet, this has to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation.

The funding under the development expenditure for the Rural Basic Infrastructure (RBI) NKRA was decreased from RM6.4b in 2011 to RM5.1b in 2012 and will be further decreased in this 2013 budget to RM3.2b. In other words, funding for RBI has been cut in half since 2011 even though the KPIs for this NKRA have increased significantly since 2011.

One only hopes that PEMANDU will not be asked to ‘massage’ the KPI data for RBI in future years in the same manner to how the KPIs for crime reduction seem to have been ‘massaged’.

The second question involves the allocation of resources between and within the various NKRAs. Let’s take a look at budgetary allocation for the Crime NKRA, one of the highest profile NKRAs under the GTP. According to the budget estimates from 2011 to 2013, the allocation for NKRA Crime specific initiatives was reduced from RM351m in 2011 to RM239.8m in 2012 and then increased to RM322.3m in 2013.

What was interesting about the increase in allocation from 2012 to 2013 is that most of this went to the NKRA initiative to ‘Increase Safety Perception index’, which is equivalent to the ‘Reduce Fear of Crime’ NKRA initiative in the 2012 and 2011 budget estimates. The increase in this allocation is a whopping RM103m!

While some of this increased allocation would involve policing initiatives such as the expansion of the ‘Omnipresence’ and the ‘Whiten’ Black Spots programs, it is likely that a significant portion would be channeled towards public relations exercises including organizing a ‘Crime Awareness Day’, conducting independent surveys and beefing up the PDRM Communications Unit. In other words, instead of allocating more resources to reducing crime such as Street Crime (which only gets Rm26.4m of the NKRA Crime budget), much of this additional resources will be used for PR instead.

Hence, not only has the funding for most of the NKRAs been cut, what is left also seems to be in danger of being misallocated for empty publicity measures.

The reduction in the allocation for the GTP and the ETP is an indication that PM Najib is getting desperate and is abandoning his transformation initiatives in favor of buying votes with direct handouts. An additional symptom of favoring short term handouts to longer term structural changes is the fact that development expenditure will be decreased from RM49.8b in 2012 to RM49.7b. Our development expenditure has decreased from 24% of the total budget to less than 20% of total expenditure in the latest budget. This is very concerning since having a healthy development expenditure is necessary to lay the foundations of future growth in our country.

PM’s commitment to the ETP also shows signs of flagging. The budgetary allocation for the ETP was a whopping RM6b in 2011. If this figure is to be believed, this would mean that government investment in the ETP was 47% of the total actualized investment of RM12.9b under the ETP in 2011, a much larger figure than the 8% target government investment target set by PEMANDU.

This figure has been reduced by almost half, to RM3.3b in 2013. If this reduction is because the private sector has stepped in to fill the investment targets of the ETP, then this would not be a problem. But the reduction in the budgetary allocation for the ETP has come at a time when the committed investments for the ETP have also decreased. For 2012, announced investments for the ETP stand at only RM16b or about 16% of the RM167b of committed investments announced in 2011. As private sector doubts continue to rise with regard to the economic viability of the ETP, the PM seems also to have realized this and has cut the budgetary allocation to the ETP, hoping that this quiet bailing out would escape public attention.

The only allocation which has increased is that allocated to the Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs). Sadly, the amount allocated for structural reforms via the SRIs is only a measly RM154m in 2013 from an equally measly RM121.5m in 2012.

The SRIs, which were originally devised in the New Economic Model (NEM) under the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), seems to have been left behind and ignored after being appended to the ETP. Of the 51 SRIs which were identified in the NEM, 14 were housed in existing ‘natural homes’ as part of either an NKEA or NKRA. The remaining 37 were clustered into 6 rebranded SRIs.

However, many of the specific SRIs have not been implemented and the small amount of funding allocated to the SRIs in Budget 2013 is a reflection of this. For example, the SRI to ‘Set Up a Central Oversight Authority’ to re-examine the ‘Government’s Role in Business’ has not been implemented. The SRI to ‘Introduce Unemployment Insurance’ to set up a Labor Safety Net as part of the ‘Human Capital Development’ cluster has also been ignored. Similarly, the SRI to ‘revive the national development planning committee (NDPC) as the Premier Body for Policy Development, Coordination and Consultation’ under the ‘Public Service Delivery’ cluster has also been ignored.

The failure of the various transformation schemes can best be seen in Malaysia’s fall in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report from 21 in 2011 to 25 in 2012. Malaysia’s ranking fell by 4 places as a result of being overtaken by Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, Malaysia’s score fell slightly, from 5.08 in 2011 to 5.06 in 2012. This was reflected in the fact that out of the 148 indicators used by the WEF to compile this ranking, Malaysia experienced in fall in its ranking in 77 indicators compared to a rise in its ranking in only 48 indicators with its ranking in the remaining 23 indicators remaining unchanged. These indicators cover initiatives under the GTP such as corruption as well as the ETP such as broadband access and the SRIs such as public finance reforms. It is another indicator to show that after the initial excitement over the GTP and the ETP, these efforts have fizzled out. Public skepticism in Malaysia over these transformation initiatives are reflected in international rankings and surveys.

Call on all MPs, whether BN or PR, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia to support a RCI to assess whether dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in past five decades

On the occasion of the 49th Malaysia Day, Catholic Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong in his message questioned if a 49-year-old agreement symbolised by the Keningau Batu Sumpah to uphold religious freedom and other native rights and customs had been kept.

Piong said that 49 years ago leaders from the federation of Malaya promised the people of Sabah they would progress together and have their basic human rights protected, as part of a campaign to convince them to join forces and form Malaysia, with partner states Sarawak and Singapore.

The three key pledges Piong highlighted were guarantees that Sabahans would have freedom of religion, their native land would be safeguarded by the state government and the federal government would respect and protect Sabah local customs.

“Are these promises still being respected and honoured?” Piong asked in his Malaysia Day message.

He said: “The agreement was carved on an oath stone (Batu Sumpah Peringatan) which is still visible read and remembered.”

I first visited the Keningau district council’s administration centre in March 2010 together with DAP MPs Hiew King Cheu (Kota Kinabalu), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Jimmy Wong (Sabah State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong) where the Oath Stone still stands, and engraved on the Oath Stone are the words:


  1. Ugama Bebas dalam Sabah

  2. Tanah Tanah dalam Sabah di kuasai oleh Kerajaan Sabah

  3. Adat istiadat anak rayat Sabah dihormatkan dan dipelihara oleh Kerajaan. Sebalik pula rayat2 Sabah di dalam interior bersumpah taat setia kepada Kerajaan Malaysia.”

After my March 2010 visit to the Keningau Batu Sumpah, I had asked: “These were the terms of the oath of loyalty of the Sabahans from the interior five decades ago in exchange for the formation of Malaysia. Have these solemn pledges laid out in the Keningau Batu Sumpah been honoured by both sides?”

Two weeks ago, as part of the DAP Sabah state-wide “Janji Ditepati” Public Hearings, I returned to Keningau and together with the MP for Tuaran, Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing, revisited the historic Keningau Oath Stone and I came away more convinced of the legitimacy and relevance of the proposal I had made in Parliament after my first visit to the Keningau Oath Stone in March 2010 – that there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry to assess whether the dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in the past five decades.

I had said in 2010 that such a RCI would be the most meaningful way of preparing for the 50th anniversary of Malaysia Day on 16th September 2013, and although there is less than a year left to the 50th Malaysia Day anniversary celebrations next September, the reasons for such a RCI remains valid, sound and pertinent.

I call on all MPs, whether BN or PR, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia to support a RCI to assess whether dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in past five decades.

An assessment of the development of the terms and conditions of the three key pledges of the Keningau Oath Stone and the Sabah 20-Points Agreement and Sarawak’s 18-Points Agreement would be a major contribution to making the 50th Malaysia Day anniversary a really meaningful occasion.

When I visited Tamparuli with Wilfred Bumburing a fortnight ago, former Tuaran MP Datuk Monggoh Orow spoke of the plight of Sabahan particularly those who are landless.

This is a clear violation of the “Land” pledge in the Keningau Oath Stone, which is scandalous, outrageous and even downright criminal, for such marginalisation, poverty and socio-economic backwardness should not take place in the second largest state in Malaysia after Sarawak.

A Pakatan Rakyat government will immediately implement a policy of “Land for the Landless” for genuine Sabahans who want to work the land, and we will eradicate the present abuses of power where huge chunks of land are grabbed by those those in power or for their cronies. Is Barisan Nasional prepared to do the same?

This is a specific instance where the Three Fundamental Pledges of the Keningau Oath Stone have not been complied with, and it is appropriate, timely and most pertinent that the hopes and aspirations of Sabahans as encapsulated in the Keningau Oath Stone is brought to the attention of the highest political chamber in the land – Parliament.

At the Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia Day celebration in Kuching on Sept. 16, Pakatan Rakyat leaders pledged a New Deal for Sabah and Sarawak, adopting the Kuching Declaration committed to the fulfilment of the hopes and aspirations of the people of Sabah and Sarawak in terms of infrastructure development and protection of their fundamental rights in forming Malaysia 49 years ago in 1963.

After 49 years in Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are afflicted with the curses of CLIB while Sabah has an additional curse of “I”, i.e. CLIB for Sarawak and CLIBI for Sabah - “C” for corruption, :”L” for Land (NCR) injustices, “I” for Infrastructure (backwardness) and “B” for Borneanisation (breach), while the last “I” for Sabah stands for “Illegal Immigrants”.

1. Corruption

Although Fighting Corruption is one of the priority six National Key Result Areas (NKRA) of Najib's Government Transformation Programme (GTP), Malaysia's corruption has gone from bad to worse in the past three years as tracked by Transparency International's annual Corruption Perception Index.

In Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak are the two top states where corruption is most rampant and intractable.

So far, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has nothing to say about investigations into serious allegations of corruption and abuses of power against both the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Taib Mahmud and the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

I fully agree with the former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Adviser, Tan Sri Robert Phang, who said yesterday that the international anti-corruption conference in Kuala Lumpur today is a waste of time and an occasion for the Malaysian government to pretend that it is serious about fighting graft.

I do not think any MP serious about the cancer of corruption in our body politic would disagree with Phang that the sixth conference of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities being held in Kuala Lumpur would ber worthwhile only if the Malaysian delegation were to use it as an opportunity to address long-standing corruption allegations against the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

I would add the Sabah Chief Minister and Sarawak Chief Minister to Gani Patail as the “test of the trio” as to whether there is the real political will in Malaysia to combat “Grand Corruption” – which is why Malaysia’s Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranking and score have fallen to the lowest levels of No. 60 at 4.3 score in the past 18 years.

Can the Prime Minister give Parliament and nation and update of the actions being taken by MACC with regard to the various police reports lodged against the “trio” with regard to corruption – in particular with regardf to lawyer Zainal Abidin Ahmad’s recent book, “Tan Sri Gani Patail: Pemalsu, Penipu, Penjenayah (Fraud, Liar, Criminal)?”?

Let me return to CLIB for Sarawak and CLIBI for Sabah.

2. Land (NCR) injustices

The second major issue in Sabah and Sarawak five decades after the formation of Malaysia is the plight of the Kadazans, Dusuns and Muruts in Sabah and Dayaks of Sarawak over Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

As the Kuching High Court judge, Justice Linto Albert said in his judgment in the landmark "Pantu" NCR case:, "These are cries for justice because one cannot simply throw one's hands in the air and say that is how life is"!

I endorse the statement by the Sarawak DAP State Chairman, MP for Sibu and State Assemblyman for Bukit Assek, Wong Ho Leng, "as the largest state in Malaysia, no one in Sarawak should be land hungry" – and this is equally pertinent to Sabah - but clearly this principle can only be established by a Pakatan Rakyat and not Barisan Nasional government.

3. Infrastructure (backwardness)

Both in Sabah and Sarawak, one of the greatest grievances is the failure to provide the most basic infrastructure facilities, like roads, piped water and electricity.

Both Sabah and Sarawak are states with rich natural resources, whether oil, gas, palm oil or timber, but the wealth of the state have been hijacked by BN leaders and their cronies instead of being ploughed back to ensure that the people in two states enjoy the most basic of infrastructure resources - instead of the scandalous situation in many places in the two states, where there are water pipes without water, electric poles without power supply or hospitals without doctors.

The schizophrenic reaction of Barisan Nasional to the Pakatan Rakyat’s 2013 Budget pledge for a complete and upgraded Pan-Borneo Highway connecting Kuching to Kota Kinabalu and the east coast of Sabah to bring development in Sabah and Sarawak to be at par with Peninsular Malaysia illustrates this long-standing grievance of neglect and marginalisation.

4. Borneanisation (breach)

Barisan Nasional's failure to honour the "Borneanisation" undertaking contained in the 18-Point Agreement was recently highlighted by the proposal by Tun Zaki Azmi, chairman of the Special Review Commission on Civil Service Transformation, to lower the requirements for Dayaks and ethnic minority groups to enter the civil service so as to address the imbalance of racial composition within the civil service.

Zaki's proposal had been lambasted by Dayaks leaders on both sides of the political divide as an insult and mockery of the Dayak community, as they contended there are enough qualified people from Dayaks and the minority groups but the problem is the absence of meritocracy not only for recruitment but also promotion in the civil service.

Zaki must be thanked for highlighting the failure of the Barisan Nasional government to implement Borneanisation as promised in the 18-Point Agreement for Sarawak and 20-Point for Sabah in the past five decades, resulting in the sense of grievance, marginalisation and discrimination by the Dayak, Kadazan-Dusun-Murut and ethnic minority groups in the two states with regard to the civil service.

Point 8 of Sabah’s 20-Point Agreement and Sarawak’s 18-Point Agreement 1963 leading to the formation of Malaysia states:

“8. Borneanisation: of the public services should proceed as quickly as possible.”

Recently, the favourite slogan on the lips of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is “Janji Ditepati”.

Has Point 8 of the 20-Pt Agreement on Borneanisation been honoured?

In reply to my question in Parliament, the Prime Minister has disclosed that out of 133 Federal Departments (including Federal statutory bodies) in Sabah, 61 (45.9%) agencies are headed by Sabahans while 72 (54.1%) are headed by non-Sabahans.

Furthermore, according to the Prime Minister’s reply, “Sehingga 14 September 2012, pegawai kelahiran Sabah yang memegang jawatan tertinggi (Gred Utama/Khas dan keatas) di Perkhidmatan Awam Persekutuan ialah seramai 19 orang. Daripada jumlah tersebut, seorang pegawai masing-masing berada di Gred Utama Turus 1, Gred Utama Turus 2 dan Gred Utama A. Tiga pegawai Gred Utama B serta 13 pegawai di Gred Utama dan Gred Khas C.”

Is this “Janji Ditepati”?

5. Illegal Immigrants

CLIBI for Sabah – the second “I” refers to the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.

A recent September poll result in Sabah released after Najib’s budget presentation listed illegal immigrants the topmost concern of Sabahans and why there had been a drop to just 54 per cent of voters polled in September who felt that the state was headed in the right direction, a marked decline from a high of 66 per cent in a previous survey conducted in November 2009.

A whopping 53 per cent of voters surveyed listed the illegal immigration problem as the most important issue being faced Sabah.

The survey found that an overwhelming 87 per cent agreed with the establishment of the RCI into illegal immigrants (RCIII) in Sabah.

But confidence in the effectiveness of the RCIII was more circumspect — with only 54 per cent expressing confidence that the commission will be able to address the problem.

The survey also found that Sabah voters had mixed views as to the motivation behind the establishment of the commission, with 46 per cent saying it was “a genuine attempt to address the illegal immigrant problem” while 36 per cent agreeing that it was a “political move to reduce the anger of Sabahans before the election”.

I share in the scepticism that the RCIII is a serious step to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, as the Barisan Nasional does not possess the political will to resolve this problem once and for all but merely wanted to give the impression that something is being done to address the problem in order to lure Sabah votes in the “fixed deposit” state in the coming general election.

This is why the Cabinet made world history in taking six months to decide on the terms of reference and composition of its membership after its decision on Feb. 8 to set up the RCIII, more than a month for the appointment letters to the commission members to be issued, so that the six-month time span for the RCIII to complete its work and report could begin to be computed.

But up to now, there are no reports whether the RCIII would conduct public hearings throughout the state of Sabah to allow members of the public to come forward voluntarily to testify about this long-standing problem which have made Sabahans virtually foreigners in their own land.

But should anyone particularly in Sabah be surprised by such indifferent, nonchalant and dishonest treatment of the illegal immigrant problem by Barisan Nasional considering the history of UMNO on the issue, particularly the disgraceful episode of Project Mahathir in the early nineties?

In this connection, the recent statement of a top Special Branch officer had cast grave doubts on the sincerity of the Cabinet when it took the decision in February to set up a RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah.

This top Special Branch officer is none other than the notorious assistant director of the E2 (M) national social extremist threat division head Mohd Sofian Mohd Makin who made the wild, baseless and reckless allegation that the Pakatan Rakyat was being infiltrated by Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists in the case of PAS and by communist in the case of DAP – and who have not been able to come out with any iota of evidence when challenged to do so.

Sofian has told the press that the advocates of RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah are anti-national elements who only want to extract political capital from the issue, undermine diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Philippines and incite anti-peninsular sentiments among Sabahans.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should declare whether Sofian represents the secret but mainstream and official thinking of the UMNO/BN Federal government on the issue of RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah, and if not, whether immediate action would be taken to suspend and discipline Sofian as he has become the worst example of a “national social extremist threat” his division in the Special Branch is supposed to be monitoring.

The long-standing illegal immigrant problem in Sabah, as well as the RCIII, is the most glaring example of the failure of the Barisan Nasional in “Janji Ditepati” – the official theme of 55th Merdeka Day and 49th Malaysia Day hijacked by the Barisan Nasional.

Sabah 20-Points and Sarawak’s 18-Points should be reviewed so as to end CLIB curses of Sarawak and the CLIBI curses of Sabah.

I call on all MPs, whether BN or PR, whether in Sabah, Sarawak or Peninsular Malaysia to support a RCI to assess whether dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in past five decades. Such a RCI should be chaired by two co-chairmen, a Sabahan and a Sarawakian.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur