Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Official Opening of the Pahang DAP State Convention held in Bentong on Sunday, 26.6.1983 at 10.a.m.
DAP calls for establishment of a Commission for a Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy Government to monitor, expose and eliminate government deviations from these three objectives.
The Mahathir Government went into the April 1982 General Elections with the pledge of establishing a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government. However, 14 months after the April 1982 General Elections, these three months are more words than fact, slogans than reality.
A cursory reading of the press would show that Malaysia is still a long way from the objective of a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government. The following examples should suffice:
*It was only early this month, after the Cabinet reshuffle, that the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, warned members of the Government not to drag their feet to divest their business activities and interests, although nothing was said about Government members carrying out business activities and interests by proxies, as through their spouses and children, for instance;
*Despite acute housing shortage, two UMNO leaders in Malacca could form a $2 company to secure 250 acres of scare housing land which they sold two years later for a princely sum $18 million.
*Both legal and moral corruption in the country has become more rampant, as another instance of the latter is the blatant abuse of political trust by Malacca MCA leaders who allocated scarce public low- cost housing units to their own officials and people in utter disregard of the needs of the homeless and the poor;
*Despite objection by the World Bank, the Government awarded the building contract for the $ 13.8 million World Bank- financed teaching college and polytechnic at Semambu near Kuantan, to Suleiman Shah Sdn. Bhd. which had never undertaken a job of this magnitude, resulting in the government having to spend another $ 11 million by changing contractors;
*The $ 250 million Kuantan port scandal, which has caused the Kuantan Port to put off its full operational dates further and further into the future, is now being followed by the Pasir Gudang port scandal, where plans for the completion of three additional wharves for the Johore port are being reviewed as a result of technical problems which will delay the $ 117 million extension project by about a year.
*The ‘cave-in’ of the Kuala Lumpur- Seremban highway which threatens to cut off the new highway. The Malaysian Highway Authority is calling for a tender to conduct soil tests at the Kuala Lumpur- Seremban Highway, which should have been conducted before the construction of the Highway, and not after. Other Highways, like the Kuala Lumpur- Karak Highway, Kuantan- Segamat Highway and East- West Highway have all suffer grave damages shortly after their opening for public use.
*The massive outbreak of diarrhoea, vomitting and stomach cramps in Negeri Sembilan involving some 1,000 people when the Water Department ignored the warning of the Health Department that bacteria in the Seremban water supply had reached dangerous levels;
*The Bumiputra Finance Scandal in Hong Kong where a subsidiary of Bank Bumiputra went on a $ 2,000 million lending spree to three Hong Kong companies which subsequently proved insolvent. Bank Bumiputra is having its General Meeting tomorrow and the whole story of the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance is supposed to be revealed.
*The repeated instances in various parts of the country of police abuses and brutalities, undermining public donfidenc in the police as a guardian of law and order, despite repeated assurances by the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Musa Hitam and the Inspector- General of Police, Tan Sri Hamiff Omar, that the Government would not condone such police abuses and brutalities.
The 2M slogan of ‘clean, officient and trustworthy’ administration has started to lose its gloss, substance and meaning, and is quickly being replaced by other 2M slogans like ‘Leadership by Example’, ‘ Look East’ and ‘ Malaysia Inc.’, which have also not found sufficient roots with the people.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, recently explained the 2M leadership style as administering a number shokus (shocks) to bring about a radical change of attitude among the people, and to jolt the people out of their complacent and taking- things- for- granted attitudes.
It would appear that after the shokus of the 2M leadership, the government had reverted to its past complacency and indifference, and this is why about two years after Dr. Mahathir’s accession as Prime Minister, the ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ motto is not arousing the same enthusiasm and hope among the people as in 1981 or even during the April 1982 General Elections.
The DAP calls for a renewal of commitment by the 2M leadership to a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government, which must not be proclaimed at slogan level, but must be institutionalized into a standard of administration and government expected of all government and political leaders, as well as of all government departments and offices.
The DAP suggests the establishment of a Commission for a Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy Government to monitor, expose and eliminate government deviations from these three objectives, so that Malaysians can really enjoy the benefits of a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government in their every- day life and experience.
This Commission should be headed by an eminent, non- partian Malaysian entrusted with wide powers to receive complaints and pass public judgements on cases where the standard of a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government had been deviated from, which judgement should be accepted by the Government with the pledge to rectify these instances of departure from the standards of clean, efficient and trustworthy administration and government.