KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — DAP candidates vying for seats in the upcoming Sabah state elections will contest under the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) banner, said party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today.
Lim explained the difficult decision to fly under Warisan’s flag was made upon the advice and request of the Sabah DAP state committee.
“To restore the simple concept that ‘people’s power’ rules over ‘cash is king’, DAP has decided to use a common logo as requested by the Sabah DAP state committee.
“This is a difficult decision for the party’s Central Executive Committee. The political stakes are too high. We cannot afford to lose the Sabah state election,” Lim wrote in a statement today.
He went on to say how the Sabah election would be a crucial bellwether to determine the political future of the state, further suggesting the outcome of the polls would have far-reaching political implications for the country depending on which side emerges victorious.
Lim said the unity shown by DAP and Warisan aims to send a strong message that Sabah is a state that rejects political treachery and elected representatives who can be easily bought.
“Sabahans want a government of the people, for the people, by the people.
“Only a government voted in by the people can serve, help and protect the people and their rights. A government consisting of political ‘frogs’ who are bought by money will only betray and rob the people of their rights and benefits,” he wrote.
Lim said the swift action taken by caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to dissolve the state assembly amid political instability was an exhibition of the latter’s decisive style of leadership, one that avoided a dishonest and dishonourable attempt to buy over the state government.
This was in reference to former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s attempts at being sworn in as the state’s chief late in July, after claiming to have the majority support of the legislative assembly with several assemblymen crossing over.
The Bagan MP pointed out that the highlights of Shafie’s two-year reign include the redistribution of 999-year country lease titles to locals, while fostering racial harmony and protecting the rights of natives, and ethnic and religious minorities.
Lim said a victory for Shafie would be an indicator the people of Sabah are against the politics of treachery, a concept he said has led to an unelected Federal government coming into power, in an obvious reference to Perikatan Nasional.
“The people of Sabah and Malaysia yearn for a convincing victory against political treachery which robs the people’s democratic mandate, opposes extreme racist ideologies which have no place in peaceful multiracial Malaysia.
“ And rejects double standard application of laws and social injustices, where complaints about poor internet connectivity in rural areas are subjected to heavy-handed bullying,” he said in a veiled swipe at Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin’s recent comments about Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin.
The Sabah state elections were triggered after Shafie advised the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin (TYT) to dissolve the state legislative assembly.
This took place amid political uncertainty as Musa was reportedly manoeuvring a takeover with 33 assemblymen to claim a simple majority and be sworn in as chief minister.
However, the dissolution was accepted by the Election Commission, who has since announced September 12 as Nomination Day and September 26 as Polling Day.
Musa had tried to annul the dissolution and impending election by attempting to initiate a judicial review of the TYT’s actions.
However, his application for leave to commence the review was rejected by the Kota Kinabalu High Court in August, with the dismissal upheld by the Appellate Court yesterday, three days before Nomination Day.