DAP to propose Sdr. Lee Lam Thye as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday’s Parliament

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the First DAP MPs Assemblymen Convention held at Hotel Dayang, Petaling Jaya on Sunday, Oct.5, 1986 at 10 a.m.

DAP to propose Sdr. Lee Lam Thye as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday’s Parliament

The 1986 batch of 24 DAP MPs and 37 Assemblymen must take history in DAP and national history not only for winning the most number of Opposition parliamentary and state assembly seats in Malaysian elections, but in paving the way for an event greater victory in the next general elections in 1990.

According to past electoral behaviour, a good Opposition year in the general elections is inevitably followed by the swing of the pendulum whereby the following elections would be a bad Opposition elections.

The 1986 batch of 24 DAP MPs and 37 Assemblymen have the historic challenge to break this swing of the pendulum in the elections cycle, and this is why the performances of DAP MPs and Assemblymen are very important and vital in deciding whether the next elections is going to be a better DAP year, or whether we are going to suffer a setback.

All Dap MPs and Assemblymen must be future-oriented rather than obsessed with the past, so that together we make political history in the DAP and Malaysia.

DAP MPs and assemblymen, in the thick of their daily constituency and elected responsibilities, must never forget that they have a common political mission: to consolidate and secure even greater support from Malaysians so that we could become an even greater political force to see the early realization of our goal of a democratic socialist, united, multi-racial Malaysia.

The DAP Parliamentary group, and every State Assembly group, must work as one team, with one goal. We must be seen to be the voice not of any one particular group or religion, but of all Malaysians, especially the oppressed and exploited of all races, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia.

This is why DAP MPs and Assemblymen, singly or collectively, would be required to fulfill certain objectives set by the Party, not only in terms of the constituency and service responsibilities of the individual MP and Assemblyman, but also to shoulder their political responsibilities to the party and the people.

The Seventh Parliament will meet tomorrow for a two-month long session. After the oath-taking ceremony on Monday, and the official opening of Parliament by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Tuesday, the Parliamentary debates will begin on Wednesday.

Although the DAP will have MPs in the 177-strong Parliament, with the largest parliamentary opposition group in history, we hope to be able to co-operate with the Barisan Nasional Government to build a stronger parliamentary tradition which transcends party politics.

There are certain issues in Parliament which must not be seen from party point of view, but from the standpoint of developing healthy parliamentary practices in keeping with the country’s commitment to a parliamentary democracy.

One such issue is the role and function of the Public Accounts Committee in the Dewan Rakyat. If the Public Accounts Committee is to play its proper role as a watchdog on government expenditures, Malaysia must follow the Commonwealth parliamentary tradition of appointing on Opposition leader as the PAC Chairman.

For this reason, the DAP propose to nominate Sdr. Lee Lam Thye as the Public Accounts Committee Chairman when Parliament starts its business session on Wednesday to elect the two Deputy Speakers and the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, before the start of the Debate on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address.

I hope the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohaned, would agree to the appointment of an Opposition leader to head the Public Accounts Committee.

Call on the Barisan Nasional Government to heed the advice and wisdom of Tunku on why the NEP has become a force of disunity and injustice

Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, made a very wise and pertinent speech on the New Economic Policy at the opening of the two-day symposium on national unity organised by the University Kebangsaan Student’s union.

Tunku said the NEP must be properly planned and implemented and not carried out in a slipshod manner, where “a lot of money is lost because of the inexperience in business of those favoured”, leading to “a lot of discontent and many businessman withdraw their money from this country and took their business elsewhere.”. Tunku said this loss is felt very badly today.

I would urge the Barisan Nasional leaders to heed the advice and wisdom of Tunku on why the NEP, which had as its overriding objective the achievement of national unity, has become the great force of disunity and injustice in Malaysia.

Barisan Nasional leaders have been very harsh with critics of the NEP, and the UMNO Secretary-General, Datuk Sanusi Junid, has even described them as the ‘new criminal’. I do not know whether the UMNO leaders now regard Tunku Abdul Rahman as ‘penjenayah baru’. But I can tell the UMNO leaders that the critics of NEP are as patriotic and loyal to Malaysia as any UMNO leader; and in fact, can claimed even greater loyalty, for they are prepared to pay the price and sacrifice of facing the wrath of the Government because of their love for Malaysia.

No Malaysian would oppose the two prong objectives of the NEP, to eliminate poverty regardless of race and restructure Malaysian society. Bu the NEP has been 16 years in implementation, and the NEP must be judged – no more on the two prong objectives which it declares – but on the result it has achieved and the type of a Malaysian society it has brought about.

It is not the critics of NEP who are the ‘penjenayah baru’, but Barisan Nasional leaders who refuse to admit that the NEP has become a new instrument of disunity and injustice who are the real ‘penjenayah baru’, for they are the obstacles of a national reconciliation of the diverse rights, interests and aspirations of all races in Malaysia.

Call for the MBC deal between Pernas the Daim Zainuddin’s family companies to be referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee for approval

The NEP has become a synonym for many questionable business transactions involving political leaders or family companies where they have direct interest. The latest is the Part III saga of the UMBC dealings of Daim Zainuddin’s family companies.

It was announced two days ago that Pernas has agreed to buy the 50.4% share of UMBC held by Daim Zainuddin’s family companies, although the details of the transaction was not disclosed.

Pernas is a public vehicle, and not the private business concern of a few individuals. For this reason, the Malaysian public has a right to know that what are the terms of the UMBC acquisition, and even to decide whether Pernas should go ahead with the purchase.

I understand that Pernas will have to spend from $350 million to $400 million to the Daim Zainuddin family companies for their 50.4% stake of UMBC.

As the Part III saga of UMBC involve delicate ethical, legal and political questions, especially as the first two episodes of the UMBC dealings of Daim Zainuddin family companies had not been satisfactorily explained and accounted to the public, the DAP calls for the setting of a Parliamentary Select Committee to vet and decide whether the latest UMBC dealing of Pernas and the Daim Zainuddin family companies should be approved.