Latest explanation about Taib Mahmudís mysterious trip overseas during the Sarawak haze emergency most pathetic and has only served to further undermine the credibility of Sarawak Chief Minister


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The latest explanation about Taib Mahmudís mysterious trip overseas during the Sarawak haze emergency is most pathetic and has only served to further undermine the credibility of the Sarawak Chief Minister.

The Star today reported that the Sarawak Barisan Nasional political secretaries, through their spokesman Dr. Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen said in a statement that Taib Mahmud met four scientists to discuss ways to fight the haze and to put out forest fires during his recent official trip overseas.

This was in response to my statement asking Taib to give full details of his mysterious trip overseas during the Sarawak haze emergency.

Dr. Rauf, who is Taibís chief political secretary, said Taib left the country only after he had organised the emergency machinery and appointed his deputy Datuk Dr. George Chan Hong Nam as the director of operations assisted by another deputy Tan Sri Alfred Jabu.

I do not know how many Barisan Nasional political secretaries Dr. Rauf is representing, but he should realise that the credibility of a statement does not depend on the number of people endorsing it.

If Taib Mahmud had in fact left Sarawak during the haze emergency on a SOS mission to seek international help from haze and health experts, why didnít he as Taibís chief political secretary, make such a statement when this was the hottest question among Sarawkians last month?

Although Rauf purports to respond to my demand that Taib should give full details of Taib Mahmudís mysterious trip overseas during the Sarawak haze emergency, he had failed to do so, as he had not furnished the full details which the people of Sarawak and Malaysia are waiting for.

For three days, MPs were waiting for Taib Mahmud to turn up in Parliament to give full and satisfactory explanation of his mysterious trip overseas during the debate on the haze motion but the Sarawak Chief Minister had disappointed everyone by his absence - showing that his so-called "SOS" mission overseas to save Sarawak from haze is just a myth.

Rauf should know that if he wants to give "full details" of Taib Mahmudís mysterious trip overseas, he must give details as to who went with Taib, his full intinerary, the countries he visited, who are the four scientists he had met and the date and venue of such meetings.

Is Taibís meeting with four scientists in the United States all he could boast as far as his SOS mission to save Sarawakians from haze is concerned?

Sarawakians and Malaysians want to know an answer to a specific question: Whether it is not true that as a result of state and nation-wide outrage at the Sarawak Chief Minister running away from the state when the people were faced with their worst environmental disaster, Taib Mahmud had to meet four scientists in the United States so that he could come back to claim that he had gone overseas to seek international help from haze and health experts?

(9/10/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong