Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP PJ Headquarter on Wednesday, July 16, 1986 at 12.30 p.m. to launch the Bahasa Malaysia edition of ‘BMF’- the Scandal of Scandals’
If a recent opinion poll is right, that majority of Malaysians are not unhappy about the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, then Dr.Mahathir will get a greater landslide victory for the last 30 years.
This Press Conference is to officially launch the Bahasa Malaysia book, ’BMF- Skandal yang melebihi Segala Skandal’ on the biggest banking, financial as well as political scandal in Malaysian history for the last 30 years.
Up to now, the Barisan Nasional Government has failed and refused to give Malaysians a full accounting of the real culprits behind the theft and fraud of $2.5 billion of Malaysian taxpayers’ money, and not a single persons had been arrested, charged or punished for this biggest fraud in our history which, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, himself described as a ‘heinous crime’. But Malaysians are at a loss how the BMF scandal is a ‘heinous crime’ without criminals?
I note that the challenger to Anwar Ibrahim as UMNO Youth Leader, Suhaimi Kamaruddin, has raised the BMF scandal as one of his campaign issues, asking why Anwar Ibrahim and UMNO Youth had not insisted that the culprits be proxecuted in Malaysia for the loss of $2.5 billion in the BMF scandal.
Suhaimi:” I am Sure if Encik Anwar had insisted, the authorities would have taken action on the matter.” Suhaimi should know as he was former UMNO Youth Leader!
Recently, an opinion poll in Selangor and Federal Territory was conducted on voter interest and concerns as a pointer to the likely outcome in the next general elections. This OASIS-SVP poll was praised by none other than the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, who said the opinion poll showed that Malaysians were mature in their thinking.
If the OASIS-SVP poll is right, that the majority of Malaysians are not unhappy about the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, then Dr.Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional will be heading for heading for an even greater landslide victory in the next general elections than in 1982!
Under these circumstances, the Barisan Nasional leaders should have no fear of losing its two-third parliamentary majority. In fact, the present Parliamentary Opposition which constitutes a mere 10 per cent may be slashed further, according to the Oasis-SVP Poll.
Dr.Mahathir and the Barisan Nasional leaders should be the happiest men in the country at the findings of the OASIS-SVP poll. However, I do not believe that Malaysian can be so indifferent about their country, rights and image inside and outside, as to dismiss the $2.5 billion BMF scandal as an irrelevant issue. The DAP is prepared to stake its political future by continuing to use the $2.5 million BMF scandal as one of its major campaign issue, and calls on Malaysians to show to the government and the world that they are not indifferent and unconcern about the BMF scandal. The publication of the Bahasa Malaysia edition of ‘BMF-skandal yang melebihi Segala Skandal’ is another DAP effort in this direction.
The Opposition Front formed by PAS, PSRM, NASMA and SDP is an ‘Islamic State Opposition Front’
I have seen the ‘Joint Declaration of Understanding’ signed by PAS, PSRM, NASMA and SDP as a basic for their Opposition Front, and for which DAP is invited to be a signatory.
The DAP had made it clear that it will not compromise an inch in our opposition to the concept and establishment of a Islamic State, which we find to be totally unsuitable and inappropriate for a multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysian nation.
We had found two particular references in the Draft Declaration for the proposed HAK most objectionable, one on Islamic State and the other on Islamic leadership.
Both these references are not only retained in the Final Declaration, but they are strengthened by another statement, which upholds Islam as the as-Deen (a true way of life) while continuing to ensure, preserve and protect religious freedom. As Dr.Chandra Muzaffar of Aliran said yesterday, PAS will be able to use this clause to mould society as a whole on the basic of its narrow understanding of the truth, justice and freedom in its version of the Islamic ‘way of life ‘.
Furthermore, these us the further understanding that no signatory to the Declaration, which binds all participating parties for the ‘long-term’ could go against the Declaration, or to put it more simply as spelt out by PAS Vice President, Ustaz Nakhaie Haji Ahmad, no signatory could now or for the future oppose PAS’ struggle for an Islamic State.
This in effect makes the Declaration of Understanding signed by PAS, PSRM, NASMA and SDP an ‘Islamic State Opposition Front Declaration’. It makes every signatory of the ‘Declaration of Understanding’ a supporter, or at least an ‘acceptor’ of the Islamic State Concept for Malaysia!
The DAP is a party with political principles and objective. We want to establish a secular, democratic socialist Malaysia. We are not prepared, foe the sake of winning a few more parliamentary seats, to mortgage or sell-out the rights of future generation of Malaysia.
DAP has not struggled for 20 years, with our political leaders paying immense personal sacrifices of loss of personal pressures, just to throw away our political principles by abandoning our democratic socialist objective for an Islamic State so that we can win few extra parliamentary seats!
We will never follow the example of one political opposition party which to get a few seats in Parliamentary majority is prepared to abandon its belief in socialism, change its name, and now adopt PAS’ Islamic State objective.
These is undoubtedly a strong political wind in the country wishing to deny the Barisan Nasional its two-third parliamentary majority to put a check on its arrogance of power, tyranny of majority, and utter disregard of the democratic rights of the people to demand full accountability for every government action and scandal.
An United Opposition Front could be one response to the political situation to deny the Barisan Nasional its two-third parliamentary majority.
But such an United Opposition Front, with a common declaration of principles, could be of three types:
Firstly, an Islamic State United Opposition Front, which commits itself to accept the PAS’ Islamic State Objective;
Secondly, and Anti-Islamic State United Opposition Front, which not only seeks to deny Barisan Nasional two-third majority, but declares its fundamental objection to the establishment of an Islamic State in Malaysia;
Thirdly, are non-Islamic State United Opposition Front, which postpones a stand or reference to an Islamic State for Malaysia, but concentrates on denying Barisan Nasional two-third majority.
The present United Opposition Front and ‘Declaration of Understanding’ falls into the first category, which the DAP cannot accept and will not be a party to, as we had declared right from the beginning.
As the DAP is irreconcilably opposed to the establishment of an Islamic State, we would prefer the second type of Opposition Front, but as our primary concern is to deny Barisan two-third majority, we are prepared to be a party to the third type of Opposition Front, which does not refer to the question of an Islamic State, binding no party to accept or oppoze an Islamic State.
The DAP Central Execution Committee, meeting on Friday, July 18, will discuss in depth and detail, the United Opposition Front and the ‘Declaration of Understanding’ reached by PAS, PSRM, NASMA and SDP. Although the DAP cannot be a party to any grouping which accepts or binds itself to the establishment of an Islamic State, the door to co-operation to deny Barisan Nasional two-third parliamentary majority is still open – as far as the DAP is concerned.
The DAP CEC will consider three proposal whereby such a opposition co-operation could still be reached, with the objective of denying the Barisan Nasional two-third parliamentary majority in the next general elections.
It is our hope that in the next general elections, the issue could be reduced to its most simple terms: whether to deny Barisan Nasional two-third majority, instead of having a triangular contest, the Barisan Nasional, the Islamic State United Opposition Front and the DAP. This could be avoided provided no party unreasonable and wants another party to betray its fundamental political principles and beliefs.
Call on Dr.Mahathir to explain the real reason for the postponement of the July 14 Parliament
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, is again visiting my parliamentary constituency in Kota Melaka tomorrow- during the second round of his pre-election campaign tour round the country holding illegal public rallies.
I would call on Dr.Mahathir to explain in Malacca tomorrow the real reason for the postponement of the Parliamentary meeting, which was summoned to meet from Monday, July 14.
This is because the reason he had given in Kota Kinabalu, that the Government Bills were not ready and that there would have been no parliamentary business, was untrue.
Last weekend, I checked with Parliament from Sandakan and found that the Parliamentary Office had received five Government Bills already, which would have taken up a week’s Parliamentary meeting, not to mention the questions and private motions which had been tabled, and the other Government Bills which would have been presented this week itself.
For instance, as of last weekend, Parliament had received the following five Bills:
Official Secrets (mendment) Bills;
Supplementary Supply Bills 1986;
Engineers (Amendment) Billl;
National Library (Amendment) Bill; and
Stadium Negara (Amendment) Bill.
I checked with Parliament today, and found that another five Bills had been sent over, namely:
Deposit of Library Materials Bills;
Treasury (Local) Amendment Bill
Petroleum (Security Measures) Amendment Bill
Companies (Amendment) Bill;
Sabah Electricity Board Amendment Bill
The Prime Minister’s reason that there are no government bills for parliamentary debate if Parliament meets as scheduled on Monday, July 14, therefore does not stand examination.
Why then did the Prime Minister postpone the July 12-19 Parliamentary sittings to July 21?
I can think of at least four reasons.
Firstly, the cancellation of July 12-19 parliamentary sittings would enable the Barisan Nasional Minister and Dr.Mahathir to avoid embarrassing DAP question about Barisan Nasional Government’s indefensible actions and scandals.
For instance, I had publicly stated that I intend to raise the issue of the Attorney-General charging some 20 people for the inconsequential offence of illegal assembly, which involves the maximum fine of $500 or six months’ jail, when heinous crimes of bomb blasts, arson and rioting were committed, killing five people and destroying $10 million property in the 12 black days in March in Sabah.
I had intended to move a motion of urgent definite public importance on July 14 to propose that the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib should resign if he could not charge the arsonists, bombers and rioters in Sabah, and their political masterminds and plotters, with more serious offences.
Secondly, the cancellation of July 14-19 parliamentary sittings would help Dr.Mahathir and the Barisan Ministers to avoid my embarrassing questions put down for this week in connection with the various scandals which had rocked the country, such as the Finance Minister’s UMBC Scandal, the EPF Scandal where the five million EPF members lost $200 million in the EPF shares dabbling last year; the $1 billion mysterious tin-buying operation in 1981, and of course, the $2.5 billion BMF scandal.
By cancelling the five parliamentary sittings this week, my questions on these scandals have been ‘killed’.
The third reason is to kill my motion calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the widespread public allegation and belief in rampant corruption, nepotism and conflict of interest in high political places.
The fourth reason of course is related to the MCA promise, given by Tan Koon Swan in Kota Bahru on 23rd May 1986, that the MCA will put out of Barisan Nasional if the Government does not amend Section 21(2) Education Act at the next parliamentary meeting or include it in the
Barisan Nasional General Elections Manifesto.
From present indications, especially from the National Language Convention organised by UMNO on Monday, UMNO has no intention yet to amend Section 21(2) Education Act, which it would have to do if Parliament meets from July 14.
Otherwise, UMNO would not have organised a Convention on National Language and ask the Universiti Utara Malaysia Vice Chancellor, Tan Sri Awang Had Salleh, to hit out at ‘people who do not want Chinese and Tamil primary schools to use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction’- in other words, who opposed the conversion of Chinese and Tamil primary schools into national primary schools.
IF Parliament is dissolved before the amendment to Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, then Tan Koon Swan has to keep his Kota Bahru pledge to pull out MCA from Barisan Nasional. This is why Parliament was deliberately cancelled, when it had been summoned to sit from July14-19, so that Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act could not be amended. In view of this, the second motion- inclusion of the promise in Barisan Nasional Manifesto- is inappropriate!
What is now Tan Koon Swan’s stand?
Tan Koon Swan has 48 hours to accept my challenge to contest against me in Kota Melaka
Tan Koon Swan has 48 hours to accept my challenge to contest against me in Kota Melaka Parliamentary constituency in the next general elections.
Ten days ago, Tan Koon Swan, in reacting to a speculative newspaper report that I would pursue him to any constituency in next general elections, said that he was ready to accept my challenge and to contest against me anywhere.
In response to his invitation to challenge him , I challenged him to contest against me in Kota Melaka next general elections, which will give him an opportunity to explain to the people of Malacca why he had supported the Malacca Chief Minister’s plan to demolish Bukit China and throw the graves into the sea for land reclamation.
Tan Koon Swan 48 hours to accept my challenge, or prove that he had broken his word a second time. The first time was his outstanding ‘debt’ to me, for a public debate for him to justify his Bukit China stand in support of the Malacca State Government!