Speech by Ketua Pembangkang and DAP Secretary-General in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, 15th Nov. 196 on the Prime Minister’s Department during the 1977 Budget Committee Stage Debate
Lim Kit Siang calls for a full government investigation and a White Paper on the UMNO Youth Leader’s links and associations with Russian communist money
During my speech on the 1977 Budget on No. 1, I asked for an investigation into the ‘Russian connection’ of the Great Malaysia Line Sdn, Bhd., which runs pilgrim ships to Mecca, as two top UMNO leaders who have been most vociferous about the irreconciliability of Islam and communism were involved.
The next day, Nov. 2, the Member for Panti and UMNO Youth Leader, Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar, said in the Dewan that he ceased to be a member or director of the company three years ago and that he had given up his shares. he said that if his name in the share scrip had not been changed, it was not his fault.
It now appears that when Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar issued his denial in this House on Nov. 2, 24 hours after my speech, he was still owner of 8000,000 shares at $1 each in the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd.
This was why he was not prepared to accept my challenge to him to swear on the Holy Quran that three years ago, he had given up the shares.
Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar has plaintly told an untruth in this House. In fact, this was not the only one. The second untruth he told was that he had resigned as a director three years ago, when in fact, according to the Report of the Chairman of the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., Dato Senu Abdul Rahman, Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar retired as a director on 24.9.1974 – this is two years ago.
These are serious breaches of privilege by the Member for Panti in this August Chamber, and the very least Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar can do is to tender his apology to this House. Otherwise, I formally draw the attention of the Speaker and the Leader of the House to these breaches of privilege, and request that the Member for Panti be referred to the Committee of Privileges so that the dignity, respect and decorum of this House are maintained and upheld.
Apart from Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar, two others spoke on the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., – the M.P. for Kuala Kedah, who is UMNO Secretary-General, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., and the M.P. for Ulu Trengganu, a director of the company.
I wish here to draw the attention of the House of Standing Orders 35(7) which reads; “A member shall not speak on any matter in which he has a direct personal pecuniary interest (other than the matter or remuneration under any provision in the Constitution) without disclosing the extent of that interest”.
All three speakers had violated this Standing Order, for they had failed to “disclose the extent” of their direct personal pecuniary interest – which is that Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar had $800,000 shares, Dato Senu also 800,000 shares and Ungku Mohsein 375,000 shares in the Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd.
I therefore ask the Speaker and the Leader of the House to take serious note of this broach of privilege by the three UMNO leaders.
I regard it also a breach of privilege that both the MP for Panti and MP for Kuala Kedah had hidden parliamentary immunity to virtually paint me as a communist. I repeat my challenge to them to repeat outside the House that I am a communist or a pro-communist.
Because of what I said in this House, UMNO Youth is starting a campaign to silence me. Yesterday, for instance, it was reported in Mingguan Timur that “Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO bahagian Kuala Muda hari ini menggesa Kerajaan supaya menyiasat dengan teliti setiap detik latarbelakang dan kegiatan Setiausaha Agung DAP, Encik Lim Kit Siang.”
Who are they trying to frighten? Is this symptomatic of a madness sweeping the country, marked by witch-hunts and branding every critic and dissenter a ‘subversice’? This reminds me of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
In fact, if there is anybody who should be investigated, it should be the UMNO Youth Leader, especially after the article “To Mecca via Moscow” which appeared in the lastest issue of Far Eastern Economic Review, which mentioned that Jaffar Albar’s connection with Moscow Narodny Bank did not end with Great Malaysia Line Sdn.Bhd
I call for a government investigation and White Paper on the UMNO Youth Leader’s links and association with Russian communist money – not because it is criminal or an offence against the law of the country, but so that the public can be in position to assess his pronouncements that Islam and communism are irreconcilable.
Lembage Urusan dan Tabung Haji (114)
I now come to Lembaga Urusan and Tabung Haji yang ditubuhkan untuk manjamin perlindungan pengawalan dan debajikan orang-orang Islam yang menuaikan Fardhu Haji dengan mangadakan pelbagai kemudahan serta perkhidmatan saperti kursus-kursus Haji, perkapalan, penerbangan, kesihatan, pertukaran wang, Paspot Haji dan sebagainya.
The widespread compaints about the bad treatment and poor conditions pilgrims on board the ships of Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd., which had been given the franchise, had been long standing.
This matter had been raised both inside and outside this House. Thus, on 10th May, 1972, the MP for Dungun, Tuan Haji Abdul Wahab bin Yunus, asked the Prime Minister, the late Tun Razak, “usaha-usaha yang telah dibuat untuk mengatasi kerosakan, kelambatan and ketidak sempurnaan dalam kapal-kapal haji yang telah menimbulkan rasa tidak puas hati di-kalangan jemaah-jemaah haji tahun ini.” The late Tun Razak replied: “Saya telah pun mengarahkan Lembaga supaya kedua-kedua kapal itu (Malaysia Baru dan Malaysia Raya) dipereksa oleh pakar-pakar dalam bidang Perkapalan dan pendapat-pendapat pakar itu akan dijadikan butir-butir perbincangan diantara Lembaga dengan Syarikat Great Malaysia Line untuk dikaji balek perjanjian diantara kedua-dua pekak.”
Complaints about the treatment and conditions have not ended, however, despite government assurances that discussions will be held with Great Malaysia Line Sdn. Bhd.
I understand that the late Prime Minister initiated an investigation into the entire question of the conditions and treatment of pilgrims on the Haji ships, which report is now awaiting consideration and decision of the Prime Minister, Dato Hussein Onn. I call for this report to be made public.
In the Dewan Rakyat on 15th May 1972, when answering a question by the MP for Kota Star Selatan, Haji Yusof bin Haji Abdullah, kenapa Sharikat Perkapalan Great Malaysia di-beri hak untuk membawa bakal bakal haji menerusi Lembaga Tabung Haji, among the reasons given by the Prime Minister was: “Lebeh kurang 50% daripada anak-anak kapal Sharikat ini terdiri daripada kaum Bumiputra.” But there was no mention as to who are the real share-holders.
On 13th December 1972, the then Minister of Communication, Tan Sri Sardon bin Jubi, told the House that “Syarikat Perkapalan Great Malaysia Line telah menyewa (charter) kedua-dua buah kapal yang bernama Malaysia kita dan Malaysia Raya daripada sebuah Syarikat Firline Std., iaitu sebuah syarikat perkapalan luar negeri.” When asked by the MP for Kubang Pasu Barat, Tuan Abu Bakar bin Umur, apakah hubungan Great Malaysia Line ini dengan Firline Ltd. 9 Tan Sri Sardon replied: “Hubungan Great Malaysia Line dengan Firline Ltd. adalah antara tuan punya kapal-kapal itu (iaitu kedua-dua kapal inti kepunyaan Syarikat The Firline Ltd.) dan penyewanya iaitu Great Malaysia Line.”
In actual fact, the relationship between the Firline Ltd. and the Great Malaysia Line is a very close one. The Firline Ltd. holds 2.8 million shares in Great Malaysia Line Ltd. As the Far Eastern Economic Review article “To Mecca via Moscow” reported, Firline Ltd. and another Hong Kong company, Ta Hing, which are family companies of a wealthy, Hong Kong businessman, Eddie Wong, appear to own 60% of Great Malaysia’s share. Furtherrmore, Eddie Wong is very closely associated with Moscow Narodny Bank.
We now read reports quoting Dato Senu and Tan Sri Syed Jaffar Albar as saying that they had not paid for their shares.
The authorities should make a full-scale investigation to determine whether, in the words of the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Great Malaysia Shipping Line had been transporting pilgrims “to Mecca via Moscow”?
Call for immediate release of Chian Heng Kai, Chan Kok Kit and Kassim Ahmad
I want to say a few words about the Urusetia Majlis Keselamatan Negara. Tujuan utama Urusetia Majlis Keselamatan Negara (p.86) adalah bertanggungjawab bagi menyelaraskan dasar-dasar berkzitan dengan keselamatan negara, dan mengarahkan pelaksanaan gerakan-gerakan keselamatan pada keseluruhannya; ia menjadi badan menasihati Majlis Tindakan Negara dalam perkara-perkara yang mempunyai implikasi keselamatan.
Urusetia Majis Keselamatan Negara menumpukan perhatian kepada masaalah berikut iaitu: )a) masaalah insurgensi, (b) ketenteraman awam (c) pencerobohan luar. (p.98)
Security and the insurgency challenge cannot be met by the resort to more and more undemocratic measures, like the arbitrary and unjustified arrest of democratic opposition leaders like Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, MP for Batu Gajah Sdr, Chan Kok Kit, Assistant National Treasurer of DAP and PSRM Chairman, Sdr. Kassim Ahmad.
The government should consider the security implications of such undemocratic actions – for this is a battle for the hearts and minds of the people which the Government lose when the people find that their leaders, who have done no wrong or committed no offence, are incarcerated simply because they exercise their political democratic right to speak up for the people. I call on the Government to immediately release Sdr. Chian Heng Kai, Sdr. Chan Kok Kit and Sdr. Kassim Ahmad, and put an end to the abuse of power – which erodes public confidence in the democratic system and exacerbates the security situation.
Call on Prime Minister to arrange time for special debate in Parliament on oil agreements between Petronas and the oil companies
Today, Nov. 15, is the deadline the Prime Minister has set for the conclusion of production-sharing agreements by oil companies. Members of this House are not in possession of sufficient facts to be able, IN at this stage to debate on this matter. As this concerns a very important natural resource of Malaysia, with far-reaching implications for the economy and future of the country, I suggest that the PM give a full briefing to Parliament on what had transpired and agreed upon, and also to arrange for time during the current Parliamentary meeting for a special debate on it.