Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Petaling Jaya old town branch committee meeting held in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1985 at 8 pm
MCA continues to be the launching stock in its contempt for its own constitution
For 22 months, the MCA was the laughing stock in the Malaysian political arena, to the extent that the MIC had become even more respectable than the MCA, and the MIC President could talk louder than the MCA President.
In the 22-month long struggle, the three MCA factions of Meo Yee Pan, Tan Koon Swan and Mak Hon Kam went to the extremist lengths to topple the other factions and secure their own victory. The rights and future of the five million Malaysian Chinese whom the MCA claims to represent were completely forgotten, while the MCA brought the self-respect, honour and dignity of the Chinese community to the lowest point in Malaysian history.
The MCA Acting President was sacked from the Cabinet, while the powers of the MCA Acting President were taken over by the UMNO National Vice President, Ghaffar Baba. In the UMNO Assembly, Ghaffar Bala half-joked that he was then the supreme MCA leader – a situation for which the Tan Koon Swan faction must bear full responsibility.
Although the 22-month MCA power struggle had ended on Nov. 24 with the overwhelming victory of the Tan Koon Swan faction, the MCA continued to be a launghing stock in the Malaysian political scene, dragging the self-respect, dignity and honour of the Malaysian Chinese to even lower levels.
Tan Koon Swan’s Pan El crisis, which wiped out $10.8 million of the total share values in the Malaysian stock market, has shown the hollowness of the boast that Tan Koon Swan is the savior of the Malaysian Chinese economic future. Than Pan El crisis, and the UNICO Directors’ decision to participate in the equity and management of Tan Koon Swan’s longship company, Grand United, is proof that it is not Tan Koon Swan who is saving the Chinese community, but the Chinese community which has to save Tan Koon Swan economically.
The Pan El crisis has also made MCA’s voice in the highest decision-making councils of the government and Barisan Nasaional virtually non-existent, for how could Tan Koon Swan speak with a loud voice for the rights of the Malaysian Chinese when his Pan El crisis had caused such a great damage to the Malaysian stock market and economy, and destroyed all the efforts by the UMNO leaders like the Prime Minister and Finance Minister to create the conditions favourable for an early general elections in the next few months?
Thirdly, Tan Koon Swan’s Pan El crisis make him completely dependent on the favours of the top UMNO leaders, in the hope that they would help him in critical phases of the Pan El rescue operation, as well as in saving his own economic and financial empire in Malaysia.
This is why I say that Tan Koon Swan must be the weakest MCA President in MCA party history, who would not dare to speak up for the rights of the people, in particular the five million Malaysian Chinese, because he is himself too embroiled in the Pan El crisis.
But what make the MCA the continuing laughing stock in the Malaysian political MCA scene is the contempt being shown by the new MCA leadership to the MCA constitution.
In the 22-month MCA power struggle, the Tan Koon Swan faction presented themselves as upholders and protectors of the spirit and substance of the MCA constitution which, they claimed, was being raped and violated by the Neo Yee Pan faction.
But once they came to power, the ‘MCA Constitutionalists’ show that they have no respect for the Party Constitution at all, and are prepared to violate the party constitution in a massive fashion to suit their political objectives.
Part X of the MCA Party Constitution ‘State Liaison Committee’ provides that the Chairman of the MCA State Liaison Committee shall be appointed by the MCA President, and lay down the constitution of the MCA State Liaison Committee.
Clause 59(1A) of the MCA Constitution provides that there shall be four Vice Chairman, two of whom shall be the State Youth and Wanita Chairmen.
But in violation of the MCA Constitution, MCA State Chairmen appointed six Vice Chairmen in the case of Selangor and nine Vice Chairmen in the case of Perak. The Party Constitution has no provision for Deputy State has appointment Deputy State Chairman and the Federal Territory even appointed two Deputy State Chairmen.
Part X of the MCA Constitution further provides for the composition of the State Liaison Committee to comprise Chairmen of MCA Divisions in the State or authorised representative, and the MP of State Assemblymen inside the State. But in Federal Territory, the State Liaison Committee had 57 members, which means that 45 of the 57 members are illegally appointed.
As the MCA State Committee had been established in utter violation of the MCA Party Constitution, this means that all decisions taken by them by them would be unlawful, null and void, and could be challenged by an MCA member in the State.
But what is even more serious than the illegal nature of the MCA State Committee and its decisions is the contempt of the new MCA leadership for the MCA Party constitution, which they had fought to uphold and respect.
If the MCA new leadership, for its own political purposes, has no respect for its own party constitution, how could the people expect it to have any principles to protect the people’s rights and interest. By the same logic, the new MCA leadership would be prepared to sacrifice whatever political principles and rights of the people, including the rights guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution, if this would serve the political ends of the new MCA leadership.
This is why the new MCA leadership has made the MCA the continuing laughing stock in the political arena in the country.
DAP calls on Bank Negara to set up a special unit to deal with Setia Timur and other similar cases of money lending companies taking deposit from public
Yesterday, when K.C.Cheah and I met the Bank Negara governor, Datuk Jaffar Hussein, Deputy Governor, Dr Lin See Yan, and Adviser Andrew Sheng, for half an hour, I expressed my grave concern at the lack of concrete and effective action by the authorities to protect the interest of the 10,000 depositors in the 40-odd Setia Timur Credit and Leasing companies in the country, involving some $60 million of hard-earned money and savings of small-time Malaysians.
Although the Governor, Datuk Jaffar Hussein, assured me that the Bank Negara is working actively with the police to deal with the Setia Timur case, I am disappointed at the slowness of results as the Setia Timur case is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as more and more other similar cases involving other companies are coming to light. I call on the Bank Negara to set up a special unit to deal with Setia Timur and other similar cases of money-lenders taking deposits from the public, and jeopardising the hard-earned savings of the ordinary Malaysians.
In the Setia-Timur case, some of the Setia Timur companies are only $2 shell companies, like the Setia Timur companies in Raub, Sungkai, Sungai Way and Kuala Pilah. The Setia Timur depositors must be fully aware of the legal implications of the steps they are taking to try to recover their deposits, for otherwise, they may end up getting not a single cents.