The following extract is from People's Mirror, March 14, 1987. It was published after the infamous "Ming Court Affair" when 28 elected Sarawak Barisan coalition assemblymen flew to Kuala Lumpur and held a clandestine meeting at the Ming Court Hotel as part of a strategic move to topple Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
Same one who toppled me, says Ningkan
KUCHING, Fri - FORMER Chief Minister Datuk Kalong Ningkan said today that the person behind the group of 28 who tried to topple the government also had a hand in removing him in 1966.
Then that person wanted the post of Chief Ministership, said Datuk Stephen Ningkan. He however, would not want to name the person.
On Wednesday Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud attributed the sudden resignation of four of his ministers and three assistant ministers to the orchestration of an invisible rich pair of hands.
When questioned as to whether the previous state government leadership was involved, the Chief Minister said "yes".
Recalling the 1966 incident, Datuk Ningkan said 21 of the 32 Alliance menbers in the Council Negeri signed a petition stating that they had lost confidence in him as Chief Minister. They asked for his removal.
"It is the same person who tried to topple me and now that person is doing it to Datuk Taib," said Datuk Ningkan who is also the adviser of Sarawak National Party.
The signatures were obtained by calling the members to Kuala Lumpur which is also the base the present group is using, he said.
"They called one after another to go to Kuala Lumpur. Until then, they could not get the majority," he said, adding that the group could not dismiss him as he still had 21 Council Negeri members in his government.
The group approached the king to give consent to the Sarawak Governor to sack me, he said.
Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan refused to resign. He declared that the constitutional and democratic manner in dealing with a motion of no confidence was to debate in the Council Negeri.
The Governor had no powers to sack the Chief Minister," he said.
He said the Land Bill Crisis of 1965 and a year later his refusal to have Malay as the state's official language by September 1967 was made use of by former Yang Di Pertua Negeri Tun Rahman Yakub.
"Tun made use of that, saying I was anti-Malaysia," said the former Chief Minister who objected to the pace and methods of implementing the national language policy in Sarawak.
He said he told the Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman that English would remain the official language until 1973 or later if two-thirds ( of the Assemblymen ) in the Council Negeri decided so.
He was replaced by Penghulu Tawi Anak Sli from Parti Pesaka.
But on Sept 7, 1966 the High Court in Kuching ruled that the dismissal of Stephen Ningkan was unconstitutional.
But Penghulu Tawi Sli presented to the Governor, then the Speaker of Council N15egeri, and the Chief Minister copies of a statutory declaration requesting an immediate meeting of Council Negeri and expressing no confidence in Datuk Ningkan.
Datuk Ningkan, who said he is a son of a padi-farmer, wanted to call for a State Election.
On Sept 15, the Federal Government declared a state of emergency in Sarawak.
“If given the chance to hold a state election I could have won,” he said.
He said it was a ‘false emergency’.
Datuk Ningkan said he pledged his full support to the leadership of the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Taib.
Of the intended Snap Central Executive Committee meeting that is to be held in Kuala Lumpur, the Snap adviser said the CEC could not be held any place outside Sarawak.
He said the CEC to be held tomorrow (Saturday) will form a disciplinary committee to investigate the eight Snap members who are involved with the rebel group.