Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP MPs Dinner at Mak Yee Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 18.3.1987 at 8 pm
DAP will go to court for Declaration if Gopeng parliamentary seat is not declared vacant on April 6, 1987
The DAP will soon be involved in election battle again, i.e. the Sarawak State general elections and the Gopeng parliamentary by-election.
The Sarawak DAP state leadership will decide the constituencies, candidates, election strategy and programmes in the Sarawak state general elections to establish the Sarawak DAP’s presence and role in Sarawak state politics.
As for the Gopeng parliamentary by-election, I do not see how it could be delayed any much further, although the MCA national leadership is still trying its utmost to avoid a by-election.
I believe that Tan Koon Swan had earlier written to MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, forwarding his undated letter of resignation but the MCA President did not forward the letter of resignation to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, hoping to find a formula whereby a Gopeng by-election could be avoided by keeping Tan Koon Swan as MP for the constituency.
In allowing the Gopeng parliamentary seat to be unrepresented since Tan Koon Swan pleaded guilty and was jailed for criminal breach of trust charges in Singapore in August, the MCA leadership had acted most dishonourably, besmirching not only the reputation and honour of MCA, but the Chinese community, Parliament and the nation as a whole.
The DAP will go to court for a declaration if the Gopeng parliamentary seat is not declared vacant on April 6, 1987. Article 59(2) of the Malaysian Constitution is very clear in its provision, which states: “If a member has not taken his seat within six months from the date on which the House first sits after his election or such further time as the House may allow, his seat shall become vacant.”
The Dewan Rakyat ‘first sat on Oct.6, 1986 after the general elections.
MCA Ministers will do Chinese community a greater service if they use the time and energy spent on how to avoid Gopeng by-election on getting Cabinet to agree to second pay-out to co-operative depositors next month
The MCA Ministers and leaders will do the Chinese community a greater service if they use the time and energy spent on how to avoid a Gopeng by-election on getting the Cabinet to agree to a second pay-out to co-operative depositors next month.
The Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, answering my question in Parliament today said most of the second pay-outs to the co-operative depositors would be in January 1988. The majority of the 588,000 co-operative depositors were paid 10 per cent of their deposits in January, and if they are to get a second pay-out of another 10 per cent only in January 1988, then tens of thousands of co-operative depositors will be driven to despair and utter hopelessness.
More and more, the Government has shown that it is not very serious in wanting to help and bail out the 588,000 co-operative depositors. For instance, it had only recently deposited $405 million in Co-operative Central Bank to bail it out from trouble, $135.5 million to bail out United Asian Bank and $200 million to bail out Perwira Habib Bank. In the past, it had used $150 million to bail out Bank Rakyat and $2.5 million to bail out Bank Bumiputra. Why is the Government and Cabinet not ready to advance $600 million to bail out the 24 co-operatives and 588,000 depositors?
The Finance Minister also said in his reply today that 11 of the 24 co-operatives had reached agreement with financial institutions, while Bank Negara was still seeking a fair solution for each of the remaining 13 co-operatives.
This was no different from the Bank Negara announcement 10 weeks ago in early January, and the impression appears to be that the Bank Negara, the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet have lost interest or concern about the plight of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, that nothing seemed to have done in the last 10 weeks to ensure that the 588,000 depositors can get a dollar-to-dollar refund and have their second payment as soon as possible. –after the paltry first payment of 10 or 20 per cent at the end of January.
Dr. Lim Keng Yaik should stop being ‘negative’ about the plight of the 588,000 co-operative depositors
It is for this reason that I had suggested last week that the DAP, MCA and Gerakan work together to pressurise the Government and Cabinet for an early second pay-out to the 588,000 depositors, Gerakan President, Dr.Lim Keng Yaik, was most negative in pouring ‘cold water’ on the DAP offer. I would advise Dr.Lim to stop being ‘negative’ about the plight of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, and realize that as a Cabinet Minister, he must bear responsibility for the Cabinet’s failure to give the 588,000 depositors a fair and just deal as was extended by the Government to the Bank Bumiputra, Bank Rakyat, United Asian Bank, Co-operative Central Bank and Bank Perwira Habib.
There was also no response from the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, who is probably more concerned about the Gopeng parliamentary seat than the sufferings of the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
The DAP is prepared on its own to organize and mobilise the 588,000 co-operatives to give them a ‘voice’ to express their sufferings and hardships, and this is why the DAP Co-operative Finance Scandal of co-operative depositors. The success or failure of this new campaign to get the Government and Cabinet to be serious in resolving the problems of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, and not to ‘pigeon-hole’ the problem as it seems to have done now, will depend on the response and the preparedness of the co-operative depositors to make their voice heard.