by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, l6.2.l985:
What disciplinary action has been taken against Ministry of Trade and Pernas officials responsible for the Mandarin oranges ‘deviation’?
After the meeting of the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce delegation and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, over the Mandarin oranges bungle yesterday, the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr. Tan Tiong Hong, said that the Swatow Mandarin oranges bungle was created by the ‘adminstrative deivation’ of a few officials.
If this is the case, then the people have a right to know what
disciplinary action has been taken against the Ministry of Trade and Pernas
officials, who by their ‘administrative deviation’, have created the Mandarin
It has now become the fashion for the government leaders to
blame the ‘administrative deviation of certain officials’ when things go wrongs.
I, for one, am finding such a reason very unbelievable, unless the following
questions are answered:
l. If the Mandarin oranges bungle was caused by the
‘administrative deviation’ of certain officials, why is it
MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers could not put a stop to such ‘deviation’
long before the Mandarin oranges bungle became a public controversy.
2. Wasn’t it true that the Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Tan Tiong Hong,
was approached at the early stage of the Mandarin oranges controversy,
and he undertook to get the problem sorted out, only to state later that he
could do nothing about it.
3. If the Mandarin oranges bungle is merely the ‘administrative deviation’
of certain officials, why did the Deputy Trade Minister, Datuk Oo
Gin Sun, defend the actions of the Ministry of Trade and Pernas officials
as part of Government policy on direct China trade, until the government
was forced by circumstances to issue 33 APs when it was already too late.
4. Can Datuk Tan Tiong Hong explain why his statement, on behalf
of the Prime Minister, about the deviation of certain officials was not made
by the Prime Minister himself?
5. Can Datuk Tan also explain why his statement that the Mandarin
oranges bungle as the work of ‘administrative deviation’ of certain
officials did not appear in any of the Bahasa Malaysia or English newspapers,
and whether it was made purely for Chinese-reading public consumption?
6. Who are the Ministry of Trade and Pernas officials responsible
for the Mandarin oranges bungle by their ‘administrative deviation’, and what
disciplinary action has been taken against them.
7. Why is it that MCA Ministers and Deputy Ministers, who are
superior to government officials, are unable to prevent the ‘administrative deviation’
of their subordinates, until the force of public pressure and opinion
compelled the government to give way?
8. Why is it that the Barisan Nasional record of government and
administration has been characterised by an endless stream of ‘administrative
deviations’ in all fields of government, and why is such ‘administrative deviation’
always by government officials, and never by MCA Ministers or Deputy Ministers
for a change?
I hope Datuk Drc Tan Tiong Hong can give the people
satisfactory answers to the above eight questions.