Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP KL premises, 63-D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 23rd June 1981 at 2.15 p.m.
Matang Holdings Bhd. given three days to publicly explain whether it had authorised the Johore MCA State and Divisions to collect some $50 million on its behalf, failing which the various relevant authorities will be contacted next week about gross irregularities and even offences against the law
The expulsion of MCA Saleng Branch Chairman, Ng Chu Tam, who is also the headman of Selang new village, Rengam, Johore, by the MCA President, Datuk Lee San Choon, for doing his duty as a Malaysian citizen in reporting to the Johore Bahru police on Saturday, 20th June 1981, that the Rengam MCA Division, like other Johore Divisions, had been guilty of cheating shows how undemocratic and anti-Rukunegara is the top MCA leadership.
Mr. Chu, in response to the Johore MCA State Committee campaign among MCA members to subscribe to the Matang Holdings Bhd., raised $500 as his personal subscription to Matang Holdings Bhd., but when the time came to pay the money, he was required to sign a pre-printed form declaring that he was giving an interest-free loan to the MCA Rengam Division!
The over 10,000 people in Johore who were induced by the MCA Johore campaign on behalf of Matang Holdings Bhd. to take out their savings, break their fixed deposits, bid tontine at the high rate of $29 for $100, and even sell their gold and jewellery, to buy Matang Holdings shares, were all also required to sign the pre=printed form stating that they were giving interest-free loan to the MCA Dicision concerned for the amount.
Yesterday, the MCA National Organising Secretary, Dauk Loh Fook Yen, asked what is wrong with the MCA members giving interest-free loans to the MCA for the party’s plans, and that further, this was an internal matter which outsiders should not interfere.
It is most fortunate that in the 1978 general elections, Datuk Loh Fook Yen, was defeated by DAP’s present MP for Kluang, Sdr. Lee Kaw, for if Datuk Loh had been elected – and he was earmarked for immediate elevation to Deputy Ministership – he would have been the protector of wrong-doing, rather than the champion of victims of all forms of abuses and excess of power.
By Datuk Loh Fook Yen’s standards, house-buyers who were forced by their need for houses to under-the-counter money to housing developers will also be an internal matter between the housing developer and the housing buyer, and nobody should interfere.
Datuk Loh Fook Yen should realise that as a political party, the MCA cannot claim to be above the law, and if the MCA membership are cheated into parting with their money under false pretences, in this case on the ground of buying Matang Holdings Bhd., but getting in return nothing but an acknowledgement that the members are in fact giving interest free loan for the amount to the respective MCA Divisions, then they cannot claim this is an internal matter. For all criminal offences are of national concern.
Datuk Loh Fook Yen should know that large numbers of the over 10,000 people who gave money to the MCA Divisions to buy Matang shares joined the MCA for the first time for the same purpose. They regard the MCA as a shares-broker company, then they do not mind doing so. This probably explains for the overwhelming majority of the 10,000 new members that the MCA Secretary-General, Tan Sri Chong Hong Nyan, boasted on Saturday as having joined the MCA recently.
I agree with Datuk Loh Fook Yen that if the MCA members were persuaded to give $50 million interest-free loan to the MCA, without any false pretences, then there is nothing for anyone to complain about.
But this was not the case. Thus, the MCA Bahagian Renbam Johore in a circular dated 15th May 1981 called for a special Rengam MCA Division meeting in Kulai on Monday, May 18 to discuss the Matang Holdings Bhd. calling for subscriptions matter.
Following the May 18th meeting, the MCA Rengam Division issued a circular on 20th May 1981, to al branches stating the decisions of the Rengam MCA Division special meeting, namely:
1. that the Division branch, youth and women’s section officials with jointly take part in the campaign to sell the Matang Holdings shares;
2. that the subscriptions from $500 to $5,000 should be paid in the form of cheque of bankdraft made payable to the MCA Rengam Division by June 15.
3. that the sale of Matang Holdings Bhd. shares were confined to MCA members.
Datuk Loh Fook Yen therefore cannot claim that the MCA members were approached to give interest-free loans to the MCA, but as they were specifically told to subscribe to Matang Holdings shares.
It is very significant that up to now, Matang Holdings Bhd., has been keeping very quiet, to whether it had authorised the MCA Johore State and Divisions to collect the $50 million on its behalf.
The silence of the Matang Holdings Bhd., and its refusal to clarify the position which is of such great concern to the over 10,000 people who had been induced to part with over $50 million hard-earned money, could mean one of two things:
1. Matang Holdings Bhd. had not authorised the MCA Johore State and Divisions to collect the over $50 million as subscriptions to Matang shares; or
2. Matang Holdings Bhd. Had no authority under the Companies Act to collect public subscriptions, monies or deposits because it had not received the necessary legal approvals and clearances to invite the public to subscribe to its shares.
I am giving Matang Holdings Bhd. three days to publicly explain its position with regard to the MCA Johore State and Divisions’ inviting public subscription to Matang Holdings Bhd. by over $50 million, failing which the various relevant authorities will be contacted next week about gross irregularities and even offences against the various commercial and companies law in the land.
I have caused a search of the Companies Registry and I have not come across any authorisation under the Companies Act for the Matang Holdings Bhd. to invite public subscriptions, whether directly, or through brokers, be it even be the MCA Johore State and Divisions. Unless there is such official and government authorization, any selling of Matang shares is illegal and unlawful. This is why the Matang Holdings Bhd. must come out with a public clarification of the entire position.
I said on Sunday that the DAP is investigating into other states where the MCA are also trying to capitalise on the ‘holdings share’ craze to make the ordinary people, led to believe that miracle money-making opportunities have come, to part with their hard-earned money.