by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Monday, 14.7.1986:
Tan Koon Swan to be given up till July 18 to accept my challenge to contest against me in Kota Melaka seat in next general elections, or be proved to have twice broken his word
At the Malacca DAP ceramah to launch book, ‘Malaysia- Crisis of Identify’ last Monday, 7th July 1986, I responded to the invitation of MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, expressing his readiness to contest against me in any parliamentary constituency.
Tan Koon Swan was reacting to a speculative newspaper article that I would pursue Tan Koon Swan to any constituency to contest against him was ready to contest against me anywhere.
Tan Koon Swan’s statement was clearly an invitation for me to challenge him, and that was why I issued the challenge to him to contest against me in Kota Melaka, especially as Tan Koon Swan has done the Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, to demolish Bukit China, throw the graves into the sea for land reclamation, and build a commercial and housing complex in its place.
I am giving Tan Koon Swan ten clear days to respond to my challenge of July 7, as he had suddenly gone into hiding, and he has up till July 18 to either respond and accept my challenge and announce his decision to contest against me in Kota Melaka parliamentary seat in the next general elections, or be proved to have broken his word a second time.
The first time he has dishonoured his word, not only to me, but also to the people of Malacca, was his acceptance of my challenge to a public debate for him to justice his support for the Malacca State Government plan to demolish Bukit China. But he said he was too busy at the time, and would not be free until a few months came and went, and Tan Koon Swan never honoured his word.
Tan Koon Swan has in fact a lot to answer for, not only to the people of Malacca but to Malaysians as well, and in particular the Malaysian Chinese.
Tan Koon Swan was hailed as a ‘Chinese economic wizard’ and ‘Chinese economic saviour’, but before Tan Koon Swan could save the Chinese economically, the Chinese must have him first.
His Pan-El crisis led to the three-day close down of the stock exchange of two countries, Malaysia and Singapore, and wiped out$10.8 billion from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange when it re-opened after the three-day closure.
He is responsible for the $200 million losses of the Multi-Purpose Holdings, and he has still outstanding debts to Multi-purpose Holdings which he had not fully settled.
He is also responsible for the $200 million loss suffered by EPF dabbling in shares, for the new EPF Chairman, Tan Sri Zain Azraai, made it clear that the EPF losses in shares investments was due to the Pan El crisis.
Tan Koon Swan had achieved various other records which only an ‘economic wizard’ can perform, as in posting the world’s highest bail of $40 million for 15 charges in connection with criminal breach of trust, fraud and cheating in connection with Pan El in the Singapore courts.
Clearly, Tan Koon Swan cannot and is unwilling to explain fully his actions, which had brought so much sufferings and losses to the Malaysians people, in particular the Malaysian Chinese to whom he is supposed to be a ‘economic saviour’.
I do not think I will be exaggerating to may that since Malaysian nationhood 29 years ago, no single person has caused so much economic and financial distress to the country and the people than Tan Koon Swan!
For instance, those who had shown confidence in Tan Koon Swan and who had invested in his three companies, supreme, Grand United and Everpeace, have realised too late how misplaced was their confidence. For about eight months, trading in these three counters had been suspended, and Tan Koon Swan owe all shareholders of Supreme, Grand United and Everpeace, an honest explanation how long these three counters will remain suspended- another year or two years?
The Asian Wall Street Journal recently reported the latest attempt, at least the fourth try, by Tan Koon Swan to salvage himself from the finance disaster arising from the Pan El collapse.
When Pan El collapsed, it had $450 million of debt and $140 million in forward contract obligations. According to the Asian Wall Street Journal, Tan Koon Swan is looking for ten to 15 Malaysian Chinese tyranny to each guarantee $223 million so that his latest salvation package could succeed.
Under these circumstances, if Tan Koon Swan cannot save himself. How can he save the five million Malaysian Chinese? Tan Koon Swan’s trial in S’pore on August 4. Will Barisan try hold general elections before August 4? Is Ghaffar’s concern on Illegals a mere ‘election concern’ or a real concern?
Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, said in Malacca yesterday that the influx of illegal immigrants has become a serious problem and a burden to the country. But Malaysians have a right to ask whether this is a real concern of the Barisan Nasional and not an ‘election-motivation’ concern which is conveniently forgotten after the next elections.
A government has the responsibility to look ahead at the problems that will befall the people and country, and to take effective preventive actions. What did the Barisan Nasional government do about the illegal Indonesian immigrants in the past few years? Nothing at all.
It is not that the government simply overlooked the grave consequences of allowing illegal Indonesian immigrants into the country. This was impossible, for the DAP had been constantly warning the Barisan Nasional leaders inside and outside about the dangers of the illegal Indonesian immigrants.
In fact, in the first parliamentary meeting after the 1982 general elections, I moved an amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address to “require the Government to crack down on the illegal Indonesian immigrants by establishing a Special Task Force III (Illegal Indonesian Immigrants) to stop the influx….because of the grave law and order problem …… armed robberies and murder…”caused by them.
That was on Oct.11.1982. Who voted against this DAP motion? Ghaffar Baba, Tan Koon Swan, Lee Kim Sai, Ling Liong Sik, Koh Tsu Koon, Samy Vallu, and all the Barisan Minister and MPs who suddenly are all now talking about the problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants!
What Ghaffar Baba, Lee Kim Sai and Barisan Nasional leaders are trying to do is not to rid Malaysia of the illegal Indonesian immigrants, but to rid Malaysians of the concern and fear about the illegal Indonesian immigrants, believing that the Barisan Nasional would do something about it, when nothing has been done.
For a start, is Ghaffar Baba prepared to concentrate all government efforts to rid Johore of all illegal immigrants, to turn Johore a ‘black are state of illegal Indonesian immigrants’ into a white-area, by before the general elections? What people want now is action, and not words or pretensions of concern!