Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang on Thursday, 3rd September 1981.
DAP calls for a one-week deadline for all State Exco members and State-Assembly Speakers to resign and relinquish all private business activities or be expelled from office.
The DAP welcomes the reminder by the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed that State Exco members decide whether they want to give up their business ventures or continue to hold office. However, the time for reminders is well over and what the people want to see is action and result and the ability of the new political leadership to match deeds with words.
All the State Exco members have been drawing their new Exco salary of $3,000 a month together new perks and allowances from July 1, 1980 on the understanding that they would-up and terminate all their private business connections and dealings within 12 months expiring July 1 , 1981.
State Exco members who continue to involve themselves in private business after July1, 1981 are in fact guilty of a gross political deception.
These State Exco members should in fact be expelled from their offices for failing to fulfill their conditions for the increased remuneration. I notice that Dr. Mahathir has not given any deadline as to when all State Excos must resign from their business activities.
The July 1, 1981 deadlines has been exceed by over 2 months. I call on the new Mahathir-Musa administration to remain firm and, at most, give all State Excos a final one week deadline to resign all business activities or be expelled from office.
The rationale of new salaries and perks for State Exco members is the ensure that there would be no conflict of interest between private interest and public duty. In refusing to comply with the full-time requirement promptly within he original 12 month period, the defaulting State Exco members have demonstrated their total lack of commitment to ensure that top political leaders uphold public confidence in the integrity and incorruptibility of those in high office.
The DAP calls on every State Government to publicly name all the defaulting State Exco members for the people to know who are these people.
State Assembly Speakers were also required to become full-time within the 12 month period, as they also given a huge remuneration increase. Unfortunately, there are State Assembly Speakers who have defaulted in the same way as State Exco members.
I cal on all State Assembly Speakers to declare their stand and to resign within one week if they are not prepared to devote and commit full-time to their office.
There seems to be a loophole for State Exco members and State Assembly Speakers to avoid a conflict of interest between their public duties and private interest.
This is by way of their spouses taking part in private business activities. This must also be stopped and the DAP calls for an effective monitoring system whereby the full-time requirement is not evaded by State Exco members and State Assembly Speakers who make use of their wives to take over their private business activities in name, when they are in fact in, full effective charge and direction.