Dr. Chong Eng Leong is side stepping the key issue of phantom voters and illegal immigrants by repeatedly referring to Likas, Likas, Likas and only Likas. He does not acknowledge that it was UMNO operatives, some of whom are his close buddies, who have been behind the phantom voters issue.
Just like the Saham Amanah Sabah issue, there is no closure and no end to it because the real culprits are not identified by the critics like Dr. Yee Moh Chai and other PBS leaders. They know that UMNO is the cause of the SAS and phantom voters issue but still incessantly point their fingers at the wrong direction, towards me, because they want to protect their political master, UMNO, and to protect their positions in government.
In the 1999 Likas election petition, I had presented my documentary proof like the parliamentary hansard records of my debates in parliament on the illegals and phantom voters issue. Never once was any ounce of evidence produced by Dr. Chong on my involvement in phantom voters.
But Dr. Chong still chooses to try to link me to phantom voters because he could not get over his defeats at Likas and because he chose to divert attention away from UMNO towards me. I had remained silent on this diversionary tactic of Dr. Chong because I kept my focus on the main issue of illegals and phantom voters, not on Dr. Chong. But now, it seems, Dr. Chong himself has become a problem on the phantom voters issue because he is doing UMNO a favour by diverting attention from UMNO towards me.
The fact is Dr. Chong has lost elections after elections, from Tanjong Aru under PBS in 1986, Sembulan under BN-LDP (1994) and Likas in 1999 and 2001 (under PBS). Dr. Chong talks as though, without the phantom voters, he would have won. In the 1999 state elections, Dr. Chong, as PBS candidate, his votes dropped from 1994 PBS’s 5855 votes to 4148 votes (in 1999) and further collapsed to 2217 votes (at the Likas by-election in 2001). By claiming his repeated losses was due to phantom voters alone, he has trivialized the serious issue of phantom voters.
Nobody can presume who the "phantom voters" voted for in Likas in the 1999 state elections. There were five candidates, including the main contender, the then Bersekutu Presiden, Datuk Harris Mohd. Salleh who garnered 3,576 votes. AS Dr. Chong knows, Harris is the president of Yayasan Islam Sabah which has threatened to lodge police report against Dr. Chong over the phantom voters issue. Harris has always been championing the cause of new citizens. This is Tan Sri Harris’s right and we can disagree or agree.
But why is Dr. Chong silent on Datuk (Tan Sri) Harris’s role? Why is Dr. Chong silent on the role of UMNO and the phantom voters in UMNO constituencies like Kawang and other areas? What is Dr. Chong trying to hide?
As this is a paramount issue of concern to the people of Sabah, I am ever ready to have a public forum on the illegal immigrants issue and phantom voters with Dr. Chong Eng Leong, UMNO and other parties, preferably after Ramadhan.
Let us get to the bottom of phantom voters.
Datuk Yong Teck Lee, Ex-Chief Minister 28 May 1996 to 27 May 1998