Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Official Opening of the Perak DAP State Convention held at Tambun Inn, Ipoh on Sunday, 29.7.1984 at 10 a.m.
Why all the silence about the interim report of the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee into the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance loans scandal in Hong Kong
I understand that the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee into the 12,500 million Bumiputera Malaysia Finance loans scandal in Hong Kong had completed and submitted its interim report.
There has however been a deafening silence over the matter, and I call on the Prime Minister and the new Finance Minister to explain to one public the status of the interim report, as to whether it would be released to the public, and why it could not be made public at the same times as the Committee of Inquiry had submitted it to the relevant authorities.
The public is also entitled to know whether the Ahmad Nordin BMF inquiry committee has been given wider powers to include investigations not only into the BMF’s dealings with George Tan’s Carrian Empire and the EDA Holidings, but also into the third in the BMF trio of creditors, Kevin Hsu.
The DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, so honour the government’s pledge of an open government which is prepared to be accountable to the people for the stewardship of public funds.
Call on Government to withdraw the Civil Law Amendment Bill from presentation to Senate
Dewan Rakyat rushed through with indecent haste the passage of the Civil Law Amendment Bill 1984, adversely affecting the rights of all Malaysians in their claims for compensation for personal injuries, including those resulting in death.
Under the Law Amendment Bill, the working life of a person is fixed at 55 years, which mezns that if a person 55 years or older is killed in an accident or other tragedies because of the negligence of a third party, no damages could be awarded for future loss of earnings. In such cases of motor accidents involving persons 55 years or older, it would be cheaper to kill them than to injure them, for the former case, the compensation would be lower.
Barisan Nasional MPs have never been know to scrutinise legislation presented before them. I understand that because of some bureaucratic mix-up, this Civil Law Amendment Bill was brought to the Dewan Rakyat when it was never meant to be made into law. It represented the demands of insurance companies for changes in the law for compensation for personal injuries, and somehow, the insurance complains’ proposals were brought to Parliament for enactment. The DAP calls for a full inquiry into the process of introducing legislation, and also for greater respect to be shown to Parliamentary by the Executive to provide adequate time for study of all impending legislation.
There is no need for the government to rush through, without giving the MPs and the public, ample time to consider legislation like the Civil Law Amendment Bill. In actual fact, such a bull should be made public a few months in advance, to allow the interested or affected parties like the Bar Council, Insurance Companies, the public the time to study and react to it.
As even Barisan Nasional MPs are now embarrassed that they had passed the Civil Law Amendment Bill, I would call on the Government not to present the Bill to Dewan Negara which begins sitting tomorrow, but to withdraw it altogether. If the Government refuses to do this, then the DAP calls on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise his new constitutional power to refuse giving the Royal Assent and to remit the Bill back to Parliament for reconsideration.
DAP calls on the Government to respect the views of the people of Papan and remove the radioactive waste dump
The controversy of the Papan radioactive waste dump in the last few months have highlighted the lack of respect of those in authority for the views of the people, although they claim to rule in the name of the people through the process of parliamentary democracy.
When the concerned people of Papan and surrounding areas demonstrated against the siting of the radio-active waste dump in Papan, which would have long-term deleterious effects on health and lives, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, warned demonstrators of the consequences of the law.
The people of Papan and Malaysia know that when UMNO held illegal demonstrations throughout the country during the constitutional crisis last year, Datuk Musa not only did not warn the demonstrators to respect the law or face police action, he himself took part in these illegal demonstrations.
The Deputy Prime Minister must respect the right of Malaysians to peaceful demonstration, for oftentimes, this is the only effective way for the people to make their voice and grievances heard. Barisan Nasional leaders go round the world boasting about Malaysia’s security and stability, but are afraid of Malaysians exercising their constitutional right to make their voice and grievances heard. Is Malaysia’s stability and security ^, that the people’s basic freedom for expression and assembly must be deprived?
The DAP calls on the Deputy Prime Minister to have an open and liberal government which permits the people the freedom of peaceful demonstration. I also call on the Federal and State Governments to respect the views and fears of the people of Papan and remove the radio-active waste dump in Papan, for the authorities have failed to convince either the Papan residents and those in neighbouring region, but also Malaysians as a whole that the Government had taken adequate measures to study the effects of a dump for radioactive waste in Papan.
I find the role of the MCA MP for Menglembu, Yoo Foo Weng, which covers Papan, most disgusting, for in Parliament, he not only refuses to speak up for the people of Papan to get the radio-active waste dump site removed, he sabotaged DR.Tan Seng Giaw, DAP MP for Kepong, from raising the Papan radioactive dump issue, as a specific subject, by creating a ‘no quorum’ situation.
The MCA MP for Menglembu should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for as he dare not raise the Papan issue as an adjournment speech, he should have provided. Tan Seng Giaw backing or moral support in Parliament.
The MCA MP for Menglembu’s action in sabotaging Dr.Tan attempt to raise the Papan issue could only delight and benefit the Asian Rare Earth Co. He should explain to the people of Papan whether he regards himself as elected representative of the people or only of the Asian Rare Earth Co.