Lim Kit Siang to devote his entire Malacca State Assemblyman’s pension of $1,000 a month for a education trust fund for higher education for poor Malaysians of all races

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, at the 3rd Penang DAP MPs and Assemblymen’s monthly dinner held at the house of Lim Hock Seng, Assemblyman for Began Jermal on Sunday, Oct. 19, 1986 at 8 p.m.

Lim Kit Siang to devote his entire Malacca State Assemblyman’s pension of $1,000 a month for a education trust fund for higher education for poor Malaysians of all races

During the September 1986 UMNO General Assembly, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, made disparaging remarks about my getting a $1,000 monthly pension from Malacca, being former Malacca Assemblymen, alleging that I also get another fictitious pension from Selangor, and hoping to get a third pension from Penang.

Many Barisan Nasional leaders and members, who are in politics because of the passport it provided for a short-cut to wealth and business opportunities, can only evaluate political leaders solely from monetary terms, for to them, idealism, principle, conviction and commitment are not worth a cent!

I have said before that if I am in politics to make money, I could probably make more in a month in the legal profession that what I get in one year from politics.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Ajib Ahmad and the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, for instance, are each drawing $4,000 pension a month as former Mentri Besar of Johore and Pahang respectively, while drawing their present Parliamentary allowance and Ministerial pay. Gerakan President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, is drawing his pension as Perak State Exco and Assemblymen while drawing his Ministerial and MP pay.

It is open knowledge that there are Barisan leaders who draw multiple pensions in the region of $10,000 a month for their previous political careers in the Federal and State Government, as well as civil service.

At this moment of deepening economic recession which is to become more acute with the coming months, political leaders must set the example of self-sacrifice, and it is for this reason that I had suggested that the pensions laws for political leaders should be amended where by a ceiling of $3,000 for pensions be fixed for any politician, regardless of how many multiple pensions he gets.

I also suggest that the pension entitlement for an MP or Assemblymen should revert back to the previous nine years’ of service, instead of the present three years.

I wish to announce that with effect from October this month, I will devote my entire Malacca Assemblymen’s pension of $1,000 a month for an education trust fun for higher education for poor Malaysian students of all races, and that the $12,000 a year I get from Malacca as former Assemblymen’s pension, will be fully given to this trust fund . If I have another 25 years in front of me, this will work out to %300,000.

This higher education trust fund for poor Malaysian students will be run by a committee, details of which as well as the rules of the trust fund, would be announced later. I will expect this higher education trust fund to start operating in terms of funding poor Malaysians of all races for higher education either early or middle or next year, when the fund has accumulated a small basic sum.

I call on Datuk Ajib Ahmad, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, to follow my example, and devote their entire pensions as State Mentri Besar and Assemblymen, or State Executive Councillor and Assemblymen, to worthy public causes!