|Stable politics with new poll zones:
The Daily Express: 24th Aug. 1998
KUDAT: Former Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd said the redelineation of electoral boundaries in 1994 has changed the political scenario in the State for the better.
He claimed political instability in the State was due to equal political strength of the three ethnic groups in the past.
"Before 1994, the combined strength of any two ethnic groups could keep the third out of power," he said, adding that the State Government has been dominated by two of the three main races since independence.
"From 1963 to 1976, the Sabah Alliance Government was controlled by the combined strength of the Malays and the Chinese.
"From 1976 to 1985, Berjaya was dominated by the Kadazandusuns and the Chinese although it was headed by a Muslim.
"From 1985 to 1994, the PBS Government was also controlled by the Kadazandusuns and the Chinese and the Muslims suffered serious political and economic setbacks," he told Bersekutu supporters here.
"The present BN government did not win the 1994 state elections but has been in power due to defections of PBS assemblymen," said Harris who is Bersekutu acting president.
He described the present BN Government as a "clone of the previous PBS Government" because nine of its Ministers are former PBS leaders.
"Wittingly or unwittingly, the newly delineated State constituencies offer a viable political option for our people to stabilise local politics by uniting under the Muslim-based multiracial Bersekutu.
Harris said it is clear that Muslims who comprise the largest percentage of the State population now dominate 27 of the 48 state constituencies which should give them a simple majority in the Legislative Assembly.
"The Kadazandusuns have a majority in 13 constituencies and the Chinese in seven while Kudat is the only mixed seat where all the three communities have equal strength."
With their electoral strength determined in accordance with the population ratios, the Muslims had become the backbone of Bersekutu and State politics, thus making them the pillar of strength, he said.
Harris was also confident that State politics would stabilise
under Bersekutu with the full support of Muslims and the backing of
"With political stability in the State nobody, including the outsiders, can interfere with Sabah's political, economic and social affairs," he said.
He did not elaborate who he meant by "outsiders" but said presently local people could no longer formulate policies and programmes of the State Government without first consulting Kuala Lumpur.
"Only Bersekutu can bring home the Government and give the people back their voice and rights to determine their own destiny," he said.
He added the coming state elections would test Sabahans' resolve whether they want to take their destiny into their own hands or reconfirm the status quo.
He claimed that Bersekutu had good calibre, new and young leaders without any blemishes.
The party also has a good economic programme to transform Sabah into a rich and progressive state in Malaysia,"he said.
"Let me assure you that the Muslim community is firmly behind Party Bersekutu.
"The Chinese and the Kadazandusuns have also come forward and I expect more to join us as the State elections draw near." Harris stressed it was important for Sabah and Sabahans to forget the past and unite under Bersekutu.