Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAF Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1986 at 11.30am.
DAP summons a high-level meeting of DAP States Chairman, Secretaries and DAP Co-operative scandal committee in Penang on Saturday, Sept. 20, to discuss plan of action to help the 540,000 depositors and members of 24 co-operatives in the $1.6 billion scandal.
I have decided to summon a top-level meeting of DAP States Chairman, Secretaries and the DAP Co-operative Scandal Committee in Penang on Saturday, Sept.20 at 6 pm to discuss a plan of nation to help the 540,000 depositors and members in the $1.6 billion scandal involving 24 co-operatives.
Bank Negara Negara’s “25:25:50” formula for the 24 co-operatives has created shock, dismay and even some panic among the depositors, who are the small-timers – housewives, hawkers, workers, petty businessmen who have put their life-savings in the co-operatives – for to them, the “25:25:50” formula would mean the write-off of 50 per cent of their deposits.
Under “ 25:25:50” Proposal, depositors would be allowed to withdraw 25 per cent of their deposits on maturity; another 25 per cent of their deposit would be withdrawn two years later at six per cent interest while the balance of 50 per cent of the deposits would be converted into shares of the co-operatives.
The housewives, workers, hawkers and petty businessmen who put their life savings in the co-operatives do so not to buy shares in the co-operatives, but to earn interest; for they urgently need the money with worsening economic conditions but could not withdraw a single cent from the 24 co-operatives.
I am very disappointed by the failure of the top MCA and Gerakan leaders to come forward to get a fair deal for the 540,000 depositors especially as the MCA must be held singly responsible for introducing and popularizing the Co-operative Finance movement, and in convincing the small men and women to put their life savings in the co-operative finance branches, starting with KSM.
The Co-operative Finance movement has been touted as the last defence line for Chin se capital but has been misused by certain political leaders and Chinese community leaders for their own selfish purpose, This is another instance where the self-proclaimed saviors of the Chinese have turned out to be the greatest curse!
The Chinese co-operative finance system must be rehabilitated, for clearly is performed a role and meet a need the existing banks and finance companies have failed to fulfill, but firstly, those who had misused their trust as directors and officers of the co-operatives should be punished severely and brought to book.
I am seeking a meeting with the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, to ask that the Police must give Top-most priority and urgency to bring the directors and officers responsible for the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance scandal to book, and that the Police detention of two co-operative directors after more than a month of Bank Negara’s freeze of assets and activities of 24 co-operatives is just not good enough.
The MCA leadership has two responsibilities in the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance scandal.
Firstly, MCA Ministers must ensure in tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting that the Government do not delay any further and announce a rescue package for the $1.6 billion deposits of the 540,000 members and depositors of the 24 co-operatives, which does not involve write-off of any portion of their savings!
Secondly, MCA leadership must set the public example that it has not made use of their political and public positions to use co-operative depositors’ money for improper purpose. Every MCA Minister, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Secretary, Member of Parliament, State Exco, State Assemblymen. On officials of all national and state committees, should declare that he or she had not misused their positions by taking improper loans by making public all the loans they had taken from anyone of the 24 co-operatives.
The MCA should purge all Minister, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MPs, Assemblymen, National and state leaders who have used the innocent depositors’ money for their own improper use by way of loans, for they are among the ones who have caused the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal.
These Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MPs and Assemblymen should have the moral decency to resign their public and elected positions!
The DAP calls on the Government and Bank Negara to consult the views of the depositors before imposing any formula which would involve the write-off of 50 percent of their savings, as this would violate Article 13 on the Right to Property.
The DAP is calling the top-level meeting of national and state party leaders in Penang this Saturday to consider how the depositors’ voice, rights and interests can be properly represented and protected.
There is at present no organization which fully represent the depositors’ interest. There is the Action Committee to Safeguard Deposit-Taking Co-operatives, which comprise mainly branch managers of the co-operatives, which comprise mainly branch managers of the co-operatives; the Kosatu Action Committee, also formed by branch managers of Kosatu; and Association of Deposit-Taking Co-operatives.
While these organizations have their role and function, what is needed is an organization or organizations which represent fully the interests of the depositors, and not of the co-operatives’ directors, branch manager, etc.
On Saturday’s meeting, we will consider holding nation-wide meetings for the depositors of the 24 co-operatives to defend and safeguard their interests. We may have to form 24 national organizations, one for the depositors for each co-op, and all associating in one Federation of associations of depositors of the 24 deposit-taking co-operatives.
Denial that DAP forming a ‘shadow cabinet’
I want to deny a newspaper report that the DAP is forming Shadow Cabinet. We have no intention of forming a Shadow Cabinet. But what we are going to do is to assign DAP MPs specific responsibility to be in charge of particular Ministries or portfolios, for them to specialize and become more knowledgeable and authoritative in their fields of assignment.
The party will announce the allocation of specific responsibilities over particular Ministries or portfolios, for them to specialize and become more knowledgeable and authoritative in their fields of assignment.
The party will announce the allocation of specific responsibilities over particular Ministries or portfolios to the DAP MPs this weekend in Penang.
The DAP has 10 Assemblymen in Penang Assembly, and we have already assigned specific areas of responsibility to each Assemblymen.
Call on Prime Minister to explain whether the retrenchment of civil servants had been a subject on the agenda of Cabinet meetings or whether Ministers are flying a kite to force public servants to agree to privatization or public wage freeze.
Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, is the second Minister to echo Datuk Leo Moggie’s warning of retrenchment of civil servants in Malaysia.
The question of retrenchment of civil servants is a very important issue, and should be raised, discussed and debated in a serious manner, and not thrown about by Ministers who want to force public servants to accept the government’s decision, whether on privatization of Telecoms or form government wage freeze.
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, to explain whether the question of retrenchment of civil servants had been a subject on the agenda of Cabinet meetings, or whether this is only Ministers flying a kite to serve certain ulterior purpose.
Eas any Cabinet papers on the possibility of retrenchment of civil servants been presented to the Cabinet, and if so, the Prime Minister is Duty-bound to make public the circumstances which had made the Government to seriously consider this proposal.
I hope the Ministers will take the governance of Malaysia seriously, and not just play games with the Malaysian public with mysterious ideas and proposals.
Then Dr. Mahathir becomes Prime Minister, he promised a full shake-up of the civil service so that it would be efficient and productive. Now, it would appear that five years after, the civil service is not only inefficient, unproductive, but have also become redundant.
Surely, the policy-makers, namely the Ministers, must bear responsibly for this deplorable state of affairs. Before civil servants are retrenched, there should first be a retrenchment of inefficient, unproductive and even redundant Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.