SANDAKAN POLLS | DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today took aim at Pandikar Amin Mulia, sarcastically “welcoming” him to the Sandakan by-election campaign following his surprise appearance on behalf of Parti Bersatu Sabah yesterday.
Lim reminded Pandikar of the "controversies" during the latter’s nine-year tenure as Dewan Rakyat speaker under the BN administration, and of his decision to quit Umno after last year's general election.
“At that time (upon quitting Umno), you joined the MPs, state assemblypersons and 21 of the 25 divisional heads who left Umno to pledge full support to the Harapan government under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Warisan-led Sabah state government under (Chief Minister) Mohd Shafie Apdal.
“Clearly, your word is not your bond,” Lim said in a statement.
Pandikar was appointed as the secretary of the state party chapter before joining the exodus from Umno last December.
Despite previously being reported as pledging support for Harapan, he is not known to have any party affiliations.
'Horror of horrors'
Lim, meanwhile, also reminded Pandikar to “spare a thought for the 1MDB scandal which you have so easily forgotten.”
“You have been quite forgotten after your nine-year stint as (former premier) Najib Abdul Razak’s 1MDB speaker of Parliament, when you were the darling of the media, enjoying the controversies when you arbitrarily banned parliamentary discussion and probe of the 1MDB scandal, and prevented Parliament from playing its role to save Malaysia from the ignominy, iniquity and infamy of being condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy.
“The 13th Parliament could have performed its patriotic duty to save Malaysia from being condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy, but you stood in the way and did Najib’s every bidding.
“But, horror of horrors, you now tell the voters of Pulau Berhala that you have never heard of the 1MDB scandal,” Lim said.
The DAP leader was referring to a PBS ceramah yesterday in Pulau Berhala, during which Pandikar criticised DAP leaders from the peninsula.
Pandikar took special aim at Lim and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for campaigning in Sandakan with issues apparently unheard of in the state, including the 1MDB scandal.
"Finance Minister Guan Eng and his father Kit Siang were recently in Sandakan to speak at Kampung Sim Sim," he said.
"At first, I didn't want to come as there was no reason for me to come... but then people from Malaya came here and started speaking about issues that we have never heard of before.
"Who here has heard of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL)? What is 1MDB?"
In July 2016, the then-speaker ruled that questions on the US Department of Justice's civil suit involving the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds need not be answered in Parliament.
Pandikar made the ruling based on Clause 36(2) of the Standing Order, which states the speaker can limit the speech if he feels the issue will pose sub judice to an ongoing court trial.
This was lifted in August last year, by current Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Ariff, however, imposed a ban on discussions related to the corruption charges brought against Najib, based on the interim gag order granted by the High Court on July 4.
The Sandakan parliamentary seat fell vacant after the death of its incumbent Stephen Wong on March 28.
DAP is fielding his youngest daughter, Vivian Wong. She will go up against PBS candidate, former Batu Sapi MP Linda Tsen, and three independents – Hamzah Abdullah, Chia Siew Yong and Sulaiman Abdul Samad.
Polling day is set to be held on May 11 while early voting is on May 7.