By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Tuesday, May 27, 1986:
DAP urges Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Pairin, to take the national lead by requiring all Sabah Ministers to publicly declare their assets publicly.
DAP welcomes the statement by the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, that the State Cabinet would meet to consider the suggestion by ALIRAN President, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, that Cabinet members publicly declare their assets.
I call on Datuk Joseph Pairin to take the national lead towards creating an atmosphere of greater government accountability, responsibility and integrity by getting his Cabinet to agree that all Sabah Ministers would regularly make public their assets.
Once the Sabah PBS Government takes this lead with all Cabinet Ministers publicly declaring their assets, then Malaysia will have taken an important stop towards a ‘clean, honest and trustworthy’ government leadership.
In the connection, I would also urge the Sabah Chief Minister not to delay any longer to implement the PBS promises in the two previous Sabah State General Elections to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the corruption and malpractises of the previous Harris Salleh Berjaya government.
Such an inquiry is a necessary process to make Malaysia mature into a society where government leaders must never forget their final accountability to the people for all their actions, even at the height of their power.
Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin should be appointed to head a Public Inquiry to assess the ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ slogan of Barisan Government.
It is for this reason that the call by the Deputy UMNO President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, to Barisan Nasional to assess whether its ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ slogan, which was the rallying call in the 1982 general elections, had been fulfilled came as a breath of fresh air in an atmosphere of increasing allegations of corruption in high places.
In fact, I cannot remember a time in Malaysia’s political history when there are so much many allegations to this problem, and that MCA Ministers who claim that they are not going to be ‘passengers’ would dare to raise this issue.
The Cabinet should appoint the retired Auditor- General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, to head a public inquiry to assess and evaluate the extent of fulfillment or deviation of the BN’s ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ Government, and to make public its report before the next general elections.
If the Government is afraid to commission a public inquiry into the four years’ track performance of the ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ slogan, then this by itself would be an admission that the slogan had been a gigantic failure.
EPF should account, not only to EPF Board, but the five million contributors for its investment decisions.
It is most ironic that the Mahathir Government, which started with such a great publicity about its commitment to the principle of accountability, seemed to have turned against the whole concept and principle of accountability.
Not only Ministers are refusing to account to the people for their actions, even government departments and public agencies are also following the example and operating in great secrecy in disregard of their public trust position and the public investment.
It is very shocking therefore to read of a statement from the MTUC President and a member of the EPF Board had no control or even information on the investment policies and decisions of the EPF Investment Panel. (NST 27/5 p.7)
It is completely unacceptable that the EPF Investment Panel should override and even supersede the EPF Board, by passing it to be answerable directly to the Minister of Finance.
The EPF Investment Panel should account, not only to the EPF Board but to the five million workers who are contributors of EPF, on its investment policies and decisions. The workers as a whole are entitled to know what are the share which the EPF invested with their EPF funds, the losses suffered, the wisdom of their decisions.
I call on the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, to explain why he has overridden the EPF Board on the EPF investment policies and decisions, and why the EPF contributors are being denied their right to know details of the EPF investments in stocks and shares.
All trade unions in the country should take a serious view of how EPF funds are being utilized, and they should call extraordinary general meetings to discuss this issue alone and to call on the Finance Minister to immediately account to the workers about the EPF investment policies and decisions.
The trade unions and the workers should also demand that the workers are fully represented in the investment decision-making of the EPF, especially as these are workers’ funds; and the present position where the EPF Investment Panel could by-pass the EPF Board, taking orders directly from the Finance Minister, must be stopped.