by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, Dec.31,1985:
Is it true that a top government and UMNO leader had intervened with the Singapore authorities on behalf of Tan Koon Swan in connection with the Pan El affair?
MCA Secretary-General, Datuk Lee Km Sai, had denied and criticized me for saying that the Pan El crisis had affected Tan Koon Swan’s effectiveness as MCA President and his bargaining power in the Barisan Nasional.
Datuk Lee Kim Sai has no choice but to deny the undeniable, and defend the indefensible. Every Malaysian knows that Tan Koon Swan could spend no time on the MCA or the problems of the Chinese community and the nation, as he is struggling for personal survival in his attempt to salvage the Pan El crisis.
How could a person who is struggling for personal survival have the time, thought, energy to think, plan and implement a strategy for community or national survival.
All that the Malaysian people, and in particular the Malaysian Chinese, hope is that Tan Koon Swan ‘s Pan El crisis as well as the crisis faced by his other companies in Malaysia, such as Grand United, Supreme and Everpeace which had to be delisted from the stock exchange, would not cause further damage and loss to them.
Already, Tan Koon Swan has the dubious record of single-handedly being responsible for wiping out $10.8 billion of total shares values in the Malaysian stock market because of the Pan El crisis, in which Tan Koon Swan is the main actor.
Tan Koon Swan said he had reversed the Pan El’s forward contracts worth $140 million to buy up Grand United and Supreme shares, and is looking for buyers to take these forward contracts off him.
Would Tan Koon Swan think of the losses of the small investors and consider partially indemnifying them, as the total shares prices fell by $10.8 billion because of the Pan El crisis? Would he consider raising a nominal sum of $180 million to compensate the small investors for their losses- which is only one percent of the $10.8 billion total share pricse loss.
It is now more than one month since Tan Koon Swan’s election as MCA President, and he must hold another record as the first new MCA President who had spent the least time on the MCA and Chinese community problems in his first month in office. Lee Kim Sai and Ling Liong Sik are very happy with this arrangement for it gave them the opportunity to decide on the major issues in the MCA instead.
There could be no dispute that Tan Koon Swan’s voice in the highest Barisan Nasional council is so weak that he had to try to rally Gerakan support, although it was none other than Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, who predicted early this month that the MCA would disintegrate into another major party feud within 30 days-showing utter lack of confidence and contempt in Tan Koon Swan’s leadership. After Keng Yaik’s contemptuous statement, Lee San Chooh or even Neo Yee Pan would have pleaded for Gerakan support like Tan Koon Swan.
UMNO leaders will never allow Tan Koon Swan to forget that if not for their intervention in the 22-month MCA crisis, Tan Koon Swan would have no chance in being elected as MCA President on Nov.24.There is now circulating in the country the talk that over the Pan El affair, a top government and UMNO leader had intervened with the Singapore authorities on behalf of Tan Koon Swan If this is true, then Tan Koon Swan’s voice and influence in the highest Barisan Nasional councils is even less than what I had imagined.