DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to practice ‘Look Japan’ and follow example of Japanese Cabinet Ministers publicly declaring their assets

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Official Opening and Commemorative Dinner of Tongkang Pechah DAP Branchin Tongkang Pechah, Batu Pahat, on Saturday, 18.2.1984 at 8 p.m.

DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to practice ‘Look Japan’ and follow example of Japanese Cabinet Ministers publicly declaring their assets

The 2M Government came to power with the most number of slogans as compared to previous administrations, like ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government, ‘Leadership by Example’, ‘Look East’, etc.

But these slogans have still a long way to materialise leading to major improvement in government leadership and public service integrity as well as government efficiency, although it is some 30 months since the acession to power of the 2M leadership.

One area which has greatly disappointed Malaysians is the inability of the Government, despite the change of the name to the Anti-Corruption Agency from National Bureau of Investigations, to make any appreciable impact on graft and corruption in the country.

Corruption in high political places seem as rampant as ever. There is corruption in the customs, in the ports, in the approval of land alienation and housing development schemes, in the award of contracts, etc.

Corruption and abuse of trust has become a way of life so much so that the $2,500 million Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal is not taken as seriously as it should be by the highest political authorities. This is seen by the fact that after years of trying to deny that there is anything amiss in the BMF loan transactions in Hong Kong, the Malaysian government was prepared to establish only an in-house inquiry into the BMF scandal instead of a full-scale public inquiry. This is because a full-scale public inquiry is likely to publicly expose the political ramifications and involvement of top political leaders either in approving, recommending or securing the BMF loan transactions in Hong Kong.

The DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to set a strong example in the fight against corruption and all forms of
abuse of trust and power by demanding the highest standards of political integrity on the part of all political leaders, especially Ministers and Mentri Besar and Chief Ministers.

Dr. Mahathir had made Japan as the model he wanted Malaysian to follow. Last month, the Japanese Prime Minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, required all Japanese Cabinet Ministers to publicly declare their assets to make the people trust the government. Nakasone declared his holding were worth some $1.2 million.

This is a good example to emulate, and the DAP urges the Prime Minister to require all Cabinet Ministers to publicly declare their assets to give meaning to the government’s pledge to build a ‘clean…and trustworthy administration.’ In fact, Dr. Mahathir should go further and make all Cabinet Ministers publicly declare their assets and that of their spouses and next of kin, which is not the case in Japan.
Malaysia will then be taking the load to ensure public integrity of political leaders, which could be emulated by Japan for a change.