Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Puchong Liaison Committee meeting held in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 5.12.1985 at 8.30 p.m.
Tan Koon Swan is not fit to enter the Malaysian Cabinet because of his involvement in the Pan E1 crisis which led to the three-day closure of the Malaysian and Singapore stock exchange and the 20-30% drop in share prices on its re-opening.
The newly-elected MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, is clearly not qualified to enter the Malaysian Cabinet because of his involvement in the Pan El crisis which led to the three-day suspension of the Malaysian and Singapore Stock Exchanges, and the 20-30% fall in the share prices on its re-opening today.
The investigative arm of the Singapore authorities have initiated investigations into the Pan-El crisis, and as Tan Koon Swan, though not a director nor directly involved in the management of Pan El, has become the principal actor in the Pan-El crisis, it is inevitable that his role would come under detailed scrutiny under the Singapore government investigations.
It would indeed be most invidious and insulting to the dignity and self-respect of the Malaysian Government and nation if one of its Ministers should be the subject of investigations by the Singapore Government with regard to the Pan El crisis.
It is for this reason I am sure that the new MCA leadership dare not propose to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed, that Tan Koon Swan be a Cabinet Minister, and why any such proposal would not be favourably received by the Prime Minister at this stage.
Call on the MCA Central Executive Committee to come out with a statement on the Pan El crisis.
For the same reason, the new MCA Central Executive Committee which is meeting for the first time on Saturday, 7th December 1985, should discuss as the most important item of its agenda that Pan El crisis, Tan Koon Swan’s role and the repercussions on the MCA.
If Tan Koon Swan is an ordinary corporate tycoon, with no political background, then it is a separate story. But in this case, having been elected as the new MCA President, Tan Koon Swan must expect his every action whether in the corporate or even private field to be scrutinised.
If Tan Koon Swan, is not prepared to be frank and open about his Pan El crisis role, then how could the people have confidence in Tan Koon Swan in his role as the Champion of the five million Malaysian Chinese.
It is for this reason that the new MCA Central Executive Committee should demand from its new President, Tan Koon Swan, the whole story of the Pan El crisis, how it affects the other Tan Koon Swan companies in Malaysia, and in the name of MCA make a full public statement to the people of Malaysia about Tan Koon Swan’s role in the Pan El crisis.
If Tan Koon Swan and MCA Central Executive Committee is not prepared to do this, then from the very start of the new MCA leadership, it has been found wanting in its honesty, frankness and accountability to the Malaysian people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese.
I would advise Tan Koon Swan to resign as MCA President if he finds that his role in the Pan El crisis has made it impossible for him to stand up bravely and courageously for the basic rights of the people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese. In actual fact, Tan Koon Swan should welcome the establishment of a independent inquiry by respectable members of the Chinese community into Tan Koon Swan’s role in the Pan El crisis, leading to the suspension of the Singapore and KL stock exchanges and the 20-30 per cent fall in share prices on its re-opening today. If Tan Koon Swan has nothing to hide, then he has no reason to object such an independent inquiry into his business connections with the Pan E1 crisis and other related companies. Better still, the MCA CEC should call on the Prime Minister to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the Pan E1 crisis, pledging the full support and co-operation of Tan Koon Swan