Investment and Corruption

Speech by DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, at a DAP Public Rally at Petaling Jaya Old Town Centre on Monday, 24.2.1969 at 8,30p.m.

Yesterday, in the Sunday papers, we read of a typical example of industrial investment in the Republic of Singapore.

Last November, the board of directors of Texas Instruments Inc. decided in the Dallas to set up a factory in Singapore to manufacture electronic components.

And in 50days, it had its factory up in Singapore, and in production, giving employment to 500 people – which will double in another four month.

Such a thing will be a near-miracle in Malaysia. In our country, it is not uncommon for investor to have to wait for three months for an acknowledgement from government department saying that they have received their letters.

This was what happened to a British company which wanted to start a $5million tapioca estate in Malaysia. It sent a letter to a government department for topographical maps, but after three months, has not even received an acknowledgement. This British company announced last month it was reconsidering its decision to invest in Malaysia.

With such red tape, bureaucratism, inefficiency and incompetence, it is no wonder that foreign industrialists are fighting shy of Malaysia and prefer going to countries where there is dynamism, a clean and honest government.

For industrialists in Malaysia not only have to face red tape and gross inefficiency, they also have to face corruption and political pressure.

All this is political blackmail, which will drive away potential investors.

The DAP calls on the Alliance to stop blackmailing investor and companies for election contributions.

The Alliance must make a more determined and honest attempt to wipe out corruption if people are to believe that the Alliance wants to abolish corruption.

The only effective way ifs for Alliance government leaders to set the example, and annually declare their personal assets publicly, and for a law to be enacted in Parliament confiscating the property and assets of all Ministers, Mentri2 Besar, State Executive Councillors, who cannot publicly account for their personal fortunes; and forbid their participation in business while holding office.

Unless a drastic anti-corruption law is passed, nobody will believe that the Alliance is genuine in wanting to combat corruption. This is not a climate which will encourage foreign investment.