Statement by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang, at a Press Conference in Parliament, Committee Room No.1, on Monday, 8th November, 1976 at 2 pm.
Challenge to Dato Senu Abdul Rahman to let an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to investigate into the Great Malaysia Line Sdn.Bhd.
I am shocked by the viciousness of Dato Senu Abdul Rahman’s attack on me in his speech in the Dewan Rakyat on November 4. This is the normal reaction of a desperate person rather than a person who is prepared to let the facts apeak for themselves.
He virtually paints me as a communist, outdoing even Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar, who, on Nov. 2, demanded a thorough investigation whether there was any connection between myself and “the Communist Party of Malaya, certain embassies or Communist elements in the country.”
Why this hysterical over-reaction when both Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar and Dato Senu knew the source of my information.
In fact, for about two weeks, leading bankers, financial houses, industrialists and commercial firms in Malaysia had been in possession of this information. Are Dato Senu and Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar suggesting that all the bankers, financial houses, industrialists and commercial firms have connections with the “Communists Party of Malaya, certain embassies or Communist elements in the country,” and must be investigated?
Both Dato Senu and Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar have tried to stir up a big communist scare with me at the centre. If Dato Senu and Tan Sri Syed Jaffar are accusing me of being communist, I chakkenge them to be straightforward and clear-cut about it and not hide behind insinuations. I dare them to state outside the Dewan Rakyat that I am a communist, and I will slap a libel suit on them immediately.
Dato Senu has maliciously distorted what I said in the University of Malaya Great Economic Debates on 9th Oct. 1976, Dato Senu said that at the forum I had stated that I preferred a clean totalitarian government to a corrupt totalitarian government, making me out as a defender of totalitarian systems.
Let me quote from the relevant parts of my speech that night:
“By expanding the police and armed forces and stepping up defence and security expenditures, without at the same time adopting new nation building policies over the whole range of political, economic, social and educational fields to halt the dangerous degree of polarisation of classes and races, the restoration of meaningful democracy and the moral credibility if government, this is merely to create new and even more intractable problems.
“This is why it is urgent and essential that everyone concerned, especially those in power, should realise that the paramount tasks at present is deal with the four problems I have outlined, and deny the political ground to the communists, who thrive on such popular grievances and frustrations.
“The overwhelming majority of Malaysians want to live in a democratic, non-communist country, where there are no gross extremes of wealth and poverty, where every citizen regardless of race had an equal stake in the future in the country, under a clean, honest and efficient government.
“On the other hand, we should not be surprised if the people, given the choice between an authoritarian government which is corrupt, incompetent, its leaders dedicated to self interests and the interests of the moneyed and propertied class, and an authoritarian government which is clean, incorrupt, competent and its leaders dedicated to the masses, the people would prefer the latter.”
Am I a defender and advocate of “clean totalitarian government” as Dato Senu has tried to paint? Is this the standard and quality of political understanding and reasoning of the Secretary-General of UMNO, the backbone of the ruling coalition parties in Malaysia? I am ashamed for Dato Senu that he could not discern and understand my plea that in Malaysia, the people must be given a third choice – the choice of a democratic, non-communist, honest and efficient government?
Thinking Malaysian are not impressed by Dato Senu’s wild rantings.
What is significant, however, is that Dato Senu had not denied that in September last year, Moscow Narodny Bank stood guarantee for $500,000 for the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., which sent pilgrim ships to Mecca, for the supply of marine fuel to one of its pilgrim ships MALAYSIA RAYA on credit by Mobil Oil Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
I will like to ask what security the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd. gave to Moscow Narodny Bank for this $500,000 guarantee? Is it true that Great Malaysian Line Sdn. Bhd. had all its assets including ships charged to Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd.?
Dato Senu has also called on the Home Affairs Ministry to carry out an immediate investigation into the Great Malaysia Line.
I challenge Dato Senu to let an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee or alternatively an Opposition Parliamentary select Committee to investigate into the Great Malaysian Line Sdn. Bhd., to determine:
1. who are the dominant controlling financial interests in Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd;
2. whether the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., had received financial help from Moscow Narodny Bank, and what financial help;
3. How the Great Malaysian Line Sdn. Bhd, received the government franchise to have a nonopoly in the trade to send pilgrim ships to Mecca.
4. The operations of the Great Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
I want to repeat that I do not regard it as an offence or crime to do business or get financial help in the form of a loan or bank guarantee from Russian communists. But there is bound to be some confusion when UMNO leaders go around talking about the irreconsilability between Islam and communism, yet are involved in the business of sending pilgrim ships to Mecca which get financial help from Moscow Narodny Bank.
Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar
I wish now to return to Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar. In the Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar said he had ceased as a director of the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd. three years ago, and that he had also given up his shares.
He said that if his name in the share scrip had not been changed, it was not his fault.
A search in the Registry of Companies revealed that in the Annual Return of the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd. made up to the 24th Sept. 1974, Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar was still shown as a Director of the company.
This means that Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar ceased to be a member, not three year ago, as he said in Parliament, but two years ago.
In the Annual Return made up to the 15th December, 1975, Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar is still shown to hold 800,000 shares.
I challenge Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar to swear on the Holy Koran that three years ago he ceased to be a director, and that he had also three years ago given up his shares?
For in that case, the Government should consider prosecuting the Secretary who submitted improper and incorrect annual returns for three consecutive years.