Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjun and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, AT the DAP Public Protest Meeting against the Government White Paper on the 24 Co-operatives held at the Penang Chinese Town Hall on Sunday, Nov, 16, 1986 at 9p.m.
The Chinese community have the three voices of ‘cynicism, protest and condemnation’ because the MCA and MAC Youth had betrayed their with the $1.5 billion Co-operative Calamity.
In his speech as MCA Youth Leader at the MCA Youth General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Datuk Kee Yong Wee said that from the Chinese press, there are only three voices of ‘cynicism protest and condemnation’, and very seldomthe call for ‘unity’ among the alaysian Chinese.
Datuk Kee and all MCA and MCA Youth leaders should be made to understand that the’cynicism, protest and condemnation’ they are hearing from the Chinese community is only the beginning for the gross betrayal of their trust in the MCA and MCA Youth.
The MCA and MCA Youth have not only caused the Malaysian Chinese to lose their political, economic, educational and cultural rights, but have now wiped out the life-savings of 588,000 depositors, who are the housewives, hawkers, workers and petty businessmen, in the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Calamity.
In 1982, the MCA achieved a great election victory, and promised the Malaysian Chinese a political and economic ‘breakthrough’. It was at that time that MCA and MCA Youth leaders at various levels throughout the country succeeded in convincing the small men and women in the Chinese community to put their entire life-savings, including coffin-money, in the co-operative finance branches as the last defence of small Chinese capital.
Now, with the collapse of the 24x co-operatives jeopardizing the $1.5 billion hard-earned money of the small people in the Chinese community, should Kee Yong Wee and his colleagues in the MCA be surprised that they could only hear ‘cynicism, protest and condemnation’?
Kee Yong Wee should look at the 11 co-operative whose net asset value is less than 80 cents, and he will find that the total number of depositors of these co-operatives is more than 400,000. These 11 co-operatives and then estimated net asset value for every $1 % deposit are:
KOSATU -30 cents
SAKAPP -37 cents
FORTISS -39 cents
KSM -41 cents
KGE -44 cents
MIFC -60 cents
ENE -63 cents
SEPADU -68 cents
KOTEKSI -73 cents
KOMUDA -79 cents
Are the millionaire leaders in the MCA, like Datuk Kee Yong Wee, prepared guarantee the depositors of the MCA-related co-operatives like KSM and KEMUDA that they would accept responsibility for the trust the depositors placed on them, and guarantee that they would not suffer any loss from their personal welth and fortunes?
If the MCA millionaire leaders are not prepared to bail out the depositors with their personal wealth ,and not prepared to use their position in Cabinet to get the Government to bail out the 588,000 depositors, should Datuk Kee Yong Wee be surprised to hear’ cynicism, protest and condemnation’ in the Chinese community? Does Dtuk Kee Yong Wee want the 588,000 depositors to take their losses in the Co-operative Finance Calamity happily, gamely and like a gentleman like MCA leaders?
Let me advise Datuk Kee and all; MCA and MCA Youth leaders to listen attentively to the ‘cynicism, protest and condemnation’ of the Chinese community, and respond by making sure that the Government bear its responsibility with a $500 million rescue plan to bail out the 24 co-operatives and 588,000 depositors, or the ‘cynicism, protest and condemnation’ of the Chinese community will mount in cresoendo to drown out all other voices and noises.
Call on Government to explain why White Paper left out some ‘big names’ involved in the co-operative misappropriation of funds.
I understand that the Government White Paper on the 24 co-operatives left out some ‘big names’ involved in the co-operative misappropriation of funds.
The White Paper has not given a full picture of how the co-operatives had defrauded the 588,000 depositors, and there should be a full public inquiry into the 11 worst co-operatives, their conduct and operation for the last five years, focusing in particular on KOSATU, SAKAP, KSM, FORTISS, KGE, MIFC and KOMUDA.
DAP calls for a full shake-up of the Co-operative Devolopment Department, to inquire into why in the past five years, the Department officials failed to act on information about co-operative frauds and malpractices.
The Government White Paper said that the problems of 24 co-operatives originate from the “inadequate regulatory powers provided in the co-operative laws” which did not equip the regulatory authority “to act quickly to control and punish any infringements against the rule.”
The Deputy Minister for Land and Regional Devolopment, Datuk Haji Mohamad Tajol Rosli, said two days after the White Paper that there was no need to tighten existing co-operative laws as the present ones are tight enough. He claimed that if the leaders of the co-operatives want to deviate for their own profit, even the tightest laws could be broken.
Now, who is right – the White Paper or the Deputy Land and Regional Development, who is clearly speaking on behalf of the Co-operative Department.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the Co-operative Department must bear a great responsibility for its failure in the past five years to act on the information about co-operative frauds and malpractices. There must be a full shake-up of the Co-operative Development Department, and the investigations should even extend to the Ministers and Deputy Ministers of National and Rural Development for the past five years, for the government cannot be allowed to disclaim responsibility for the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Calamity.
DAP calls on MCA and Gerakan Ministers to jointly ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to review White Paper proposals and to present a $600 million government rescue plan to bail out the 588,000 depositors.
The MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders have not dared to meet the 588,000 depositors, because they know that the Government should be responsible for the depositors’ losses. I call on MCA and Gerakan Ministers to jointly ask the Cabinet on Wednesday to review the White Paper proposals and to present a government $600 million government rescue plan to bail out the 588,000 depositors.
Can the MCA and Gerakan Ministers explain to the 588,000 depositors why they could get a $600 million government rescue plan for them, when UMNO leaders could get $150 million for Bank Rakyat and $2.5 billion for Bank Bumiputra in the BMF scandal?