Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of DAP National Committee on the Co-operative Finance Scandal held at DAP PJ Hqrs on Friday, 20.3.1987 at 8p.m.
Call on Datuk Dr.Ling Liong Sik and Dr.Lim Keng Yaik to jointly get Cabinet guarantee of a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to 588,000 co-operative depositors through a $600 million government rescue plan
The greatest danger facing the 588,000 co-operative depositors is that their plight and problems may be forgotten, while weeks turn into months and months into years, although now and then MCA Ministers and government officials may make innocuous and meaningless statements that their problems are being looked into.
The announcement by the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, that the second payment to co-operative depositors would be in January 1988 must have come as a shock to the depositors.
In January this year, 243,813 depositors from 10 co-operatives, namely KOSATU, Sakaap, Fortiss, Gunong Emas, MITC, ENE, Sepadu, Kosmopolitan, Komuda and Koteksi were paid 10 per cent of their deposits, while the 166,383 depositors of KSM paid 20 per cent.
It would be most unfair, causing great hardships to the 410,000 depositors, if they get their second repayment only in January next year, and by the same percentage amount of payments.
The performance of the MCA Ministers had been most disappointing as far as the co-operative finance scandal issue is concerned. The MCA must singly rear the greatest responsibility for the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal, plunging the Chinese community in Malaysia into the greatest financial catastrophe in history.
Having been the single greatest cause of the co-operative catastrophe, the MCA Ministers should make amends by providing a solution and taking up the issue at the highest level in the government.
We find the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, making repeated statements that he is following Bank Negara’s handling of the co-operative crisis with the receivers and co-operatives. This is not good enough. As Cabinet Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling should continue to keep the co-operative issue at the highest level in Cabinet, and not be shunted off to a government department or agency like Bank Negara.
The Bank Negara does not make policy, but only implement directives laid down by Cabinet. I therefore call on Datuk Dr. Ling together with Dr. Lim Keng Yaik to revive and re-open the co-operative finance scandal issue in Cabinet, and to get the Cabinet to publicly guarantee a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 depositors through the establishment of a $600 million rescue plan.
The question is whether Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik would dare to re-open the co-operative finance scandal issue in the Cabinet at all. The 588,000 co-operative depositors must organize themselves to make their demands known by the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and the Cabinet, namely:
1. that the Cabinet should reconsider the co-operative finance issue and the plight of the 588,000 depositors, by guaranteeing a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the depositors through a $600 million rescue fund; and
2. A second pay-out to the 588,000 depositors by end of April this year.