KOTA KINABALU, May 5, 2018: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appears to be Pakatan Harapan’s biggest liability in Sabah, going by DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s remarks about the Mahathir avoiding Sabah in the election campaign, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) secretary general Datuk Richard Yong said.
This was also the reason why PH’s electoral proxy Parti Warisan is keeping its distance from Mahathir.
“Sabahans cannot forget about Project IC in Sabah when Mahathir Prime Minister. It was under his rule that Project IC went into full swing with hundreds of thousands of unqualified foreigners being given dubious citizenship documents,” he said on Saturday.
He said this was clearly evident in the state’s astronomical 390% population growth from 630,000 to more than 2.4mil between 1970 and 2010.
He said Sabahans saw their state’s resources such as oil and gas flowing out to finance the development of Malaya.
“So while highways, airports and LRT services were being built in Malaya, Sabahans had to go around in roads filled with potholes,” Yong said.
“Sabah’ rights were under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 were disregarded and we became a state that became nothing more a source of resources for Malaya to benefit from,” he added.
He said with Mahathir leading the charge, Sabahans could see PH as being no different than BN with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (United Malaysia Native Organisation – UMNO) being Umno Team B and DAP the replica of MCA.
“How else can one explain why DAP and PKR are now suddenly silent on the Project IC issue?” Richard said when commenting on DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang’s statement that he did not know why Mahathir had so far avoided campaigning in Sabah.
On Lim’s call to Sabahans to forgive Mahathir, Richard said: “For Sabahans, Mahathir can only redeem himself by cancelling all Project IC documents.”
He said Malaya based parties like UMNO, BN, PH as well as Parti Warisan were now facing “inconvenient truths” about Mahathir’s legacy in Sabah.
“They are all the same. It’s no surprise that both BN and PH parties like PKR and DAP dare not talk about Project IC,” Richard added.
“In the past, PKR and DAP – not PAS – had been shouting about Project IC to hit out against Umno and BN. Now they are all silent about this and Sabahans have realised they are all the same,” he added.
“There is growing realisation among Sabah voters that these Malaya parties will not represent Sabah rights as they have their masters in Malaya to answer to,” Richard said.
“Only local parties like SAPP and our Gabungan Sabah partners are sincere in our struggle for Sabah’s rights and interests,” he said.
“GS is the defender of Sabah rights while Malaya-based parties are the spoilers. They are splitting votes to prevent Sabahans from regaining our rights,” Richard said.
“This election is the best chance for Sabahans to say no to Malaya parties and vote for our autonomy through GS,” he said.