1987 – A Year to End or Deepen the National Crisis of Confidence?

1987 New Year Massage by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Dap Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, issued on 31.12.1986

1987 – A Year to End or Deepen the National Crisis of Confidence?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, held the August 3 general elections to end the crisis of confidence in Malaysia, but despite the Barisan Nasional fourth-fifth parliamentary majority, this crisis of confidence has worsened in the past five months

The New Year of 1987 will decide whether it is a year to end the crisis of confidence, or it will get even worse.

Economic recovery, national unity, long-term confidence by national and foreign investors, had been greatly affected by the protracted crisis of confidence. National political leaders, inside and outside, and from all political opinion, must agree that the overcoming of the crisis of confidence must be the first item on the national agenda of business for the new year.

The Government in particular, must manifest a new will and preparedness to be the custodian and guardian of the rights and interests of 100 per cent of Malaysians, and not just 55 per cent of the population.

Government of all races, religious and citizens

The Government can make an excellent start to restore national confidence and demonstrate it is a government of all races, religions and citizens by extending to the 588,000 depositors of the 24 troubled co-operatives the same treatment it gave to the Bank Rakyat, and even Bank Bumiputra.

The Barisan Nasional has not been able to give any convincing reason why the Government cannot bail out the 24 co-operatives and the 588,000 depositors with a $600 million rescue plan, if it could spend $150 million to bail out Bank Rakyat and $2.5 billion to bail out Bank Bumuputra because of the BMF scandal.

Conversely, the crisis of confidence in Malaysia will take a great step for the worse, if by the Chinese New Year, the 588,000 depositors of the 24 co-operatives are not given any help, say in an advance payment of 25 per cent of their deposits, for it would be a tragedy of some three million people, mostly Malaysian Chinese, who would be facing their most bitter and painful Chinese New Year in history.

UMNO Party elections should not aggravate crisis of confidence

The UMNO party general elections in April is a likely contributor to the further erosion of confidence in the country, because of extremist and chauvinist speeches, statements and demands by contesting candidates for high party position in UMNO. If UMNO National leaders are really concerned about national interest, then they should draw up a code of UMNO election conduct to stamp out not only the politics of money, but the politics of extremism and chauvinism.

OSA – Call on the Prime Minister to re-think before sending the Bill for Royal Assent

1987 would start on a right note if the Prime Minister, Datul Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, is prepared to take into account the widespread public opposition to the OSA Amendment Bill. I call on him to re-think the grave consequences of OSA to the healthy frowth of democracy, and withhold the sending of the OSA Amendment Bill to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for Royal assent. By allowing the OSA (A) Bill to lapse in the Cabinet would have shown itself and being guided by public opinion in Malaysia.