Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary –General, MP for Tanjung and assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, at DAP PJ Hqrs on Thursday, 25.9.1986:
Denial that I am drawing pensions from Selangor, and suggest no Minister, Deputy Minister, Menteri Besar, Chief Minister, MP or Assemblymen should draw more than $3,000 a month of pension for his various elective offices
During the recent UMNO General assembly, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, in his winding speech referred to my drawing multiple pensions from the Malacca and Selangor State Governments, and that I would be drawing another pension when I am no more Assemblymen for Penang.
I want to deny that I am drawing any pension from the Selangor Assembly. I am drawing a monthly $1,000 pension from Malacca State because I was a former Malacca Assemblyman. I was never an Assemblyman for Selangor.
Dr. Mahathir’s reference is not only untrue but most dishonorable, trying to paint the picture that I am in politics for the sake of money. If my purpose in life is money, I could open up a legal practice, and would probably earn more in one month what I get in a year from my elected offices.
I am very surprised by Dr. Mahathir’s lapses recently. He mixed up the $2 company, Maminco, which was responsible for the 1981 London mysterious tin-buying on behalf of the Government, with the $2 company, Makuwasa, which was responsible for the scandalous receipt of shares from EPF causing the EPF to lose $10 million.
During the past few years, my political enemies had tried to exaggerate the various allowances, perks and privileges I get as Leader of Opposition. It was reported that I get $5,000 allowance a month as Leader of Opposition, over and above the $3,000 a month as MP; that I get a free car, a house, free air-tickets, etc.
There is completely no truth in all this. Apart from $2,000 a month allowance I get as Leader of Opposition, I do not get any extra allowance or perks as Leader of Opposition.
In fact I must be the only one Member of Parliament in Malaysian parliamentary history to lose money from amendments in the remuneration of MPs. Until1980, a Leader of Opposition’s allowance is computed for purpose of gratuity, but this was abolished in the 1980 revision of parliamentary allowances, resulting in my losing some $50,000. I have never mentioned this before, but in the wake of the campaign to try to tarnish my image from monetary point of view, I am referring to it now. This must have been deliberate on the Barisan Nasional Ministers’ part, to show how petty they could be. But I did not better, and did not even protest.
It is too much however to be the target of attack as if money is the sole consideration of my having spent 20 years of my life in politics.
I call on the Prime Minister to introduce amendments to existing law to fix a ceiling to the pension any Minister or Menteri Besar, Chief Minister, MP or Assemblymen can draw from all his elective offices. There is one Barisan Nasional leader who is drawing a pension as Deputy Minister, Member of Parliament, Menteri Besar, Assemblyman, and when he retires from his present public office, will draw a fifth pension – totaling over $10,000 a month! I suggest that no single Minister, Menteri Besar, Chief Minister, MP or Assemblyman should be allowed to draw more than $3000 a month from all his pensions arising from his elective or public offices.
10-day ultimatum to the MCA Deputy Minister to repay his $20 million loan to CCB, or he will be publicity named
Two weeks ago, I revealed that a Deputy MCA Minister took a $20 million loan from Central Co-operative Bank (CCB), and that the loan had not been serviced.
I am giving this Deputy MCA Ministers ten days to repay this $20 million loan unless he could give a satisfactory reason that the loan was for a good and proper reason.
This Deputy MCA Minister took the $20 million loan on a third party charge on a piece of land which was transacted and sold in Mar 1986 for $9.6 million. This land was was immediately used for a second charge for the owner-company, of which the Deputy MCA Minister was a director, for another loan of $25 million from a leasing company.
The Deputy MCA Minister should answer the following questions:
1) Why did he the $20 million loan from CCB;
2) Whether this $20 million loan was ever serviced;
3) What has happened now to this $20 million loan;
4) How did he get a loan of $20 million for a third party charge on a piece of land which was sold and priced at $9.6 million?
Call on Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to speed up on the issue of the $70 million soft loan to tin miners
The Government has been talking about a soft loan scheme to help the tin miners for the last six months, but the tin miners are most dismayed that the release of the $70 million soft loan aid to tin miners is so slow.
If the $70 million soft loan scheme suffers any further delay, many of the gravel pumps may have to close down because of cash flow problems. Tin miners have noted that the government is very pressing when it wants to collect money from the taxpayers, but very tardy when paying out money even in emergency situations.
I call on the Primary Industries Minister, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to ensure that the $70 million soft-loan scheme for tin miners is implemented immediately, and not bogged down with paper-work.
I understand that last week the government increased the price of diesel by another 47 cents per gallon for the mining industry. Before 1st June 1984, the government subsidized 86 cents per gallon as subsidy for diesel for the mining industry.
It then increased the duty to 38 cents per gallon, which went up by another 47 cents per gallon on Sept.19. In the recent increase, the oil companies absorbed 17 cents per gallon – which means that as compared to before June 1984; the tin mining industry had to pay 68 cents per gallon of diesel, instead of getting a 86 cent subsidy – which tantamount to an increase of $ 1.54 per gallon of diesel.
In July this year, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, when he visited Ipoh during his pre-election tour, promised that the government intended to lower the diesel price for tin mines. Now, the Government had further increased he diesel price in an unannounced move, and the Primary Industries Minister, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, should explain why the government had broken its pledge to lower the diesel price for tin mines to help them out of the present economic crisis for the tin industry.