Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang at the second round of nation-wide public protest meetings of 588,000 co-operative depositors held in Seremban at Hua Chi Association premises on Friday, April 10, 1987 at 9 p.m.
Call on co-operative depositors who can converge on Gopeng during the by-election in May for a Co-operative Depositors Protest Camp to register with DAP MPs, SAs and branches
This is the fourth public meeting of the 588,000 co-operative depositors in the second round of nation-wide protest meetings against the government’s indifference to their suffering and plight, as well as discrimination in refusing to rescue the 23 co-operatives in the way Bank Bumiputera and Bank Rakyat were rescued.
At the Kuala Lumpur protest meeting of co-operative depositors on March 29, 1987, I suggested that the 588,000 co-operative depositors should converge on Gopeng during the Gopeng by-election to hold a week-long Depositors’ Protest Camp to let the government, the country and even the whole world know about the grievances and sufferings of the depositors.
MCA leaders, and in particular MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, are very upset about the proposal for a week-long Depositors’ Protest Camp at Gopeng, and this has made Lee Kim Sai to come out with several silly and childish statements about the co-operative finance scandal.
In the past few days, Lee Kim Sai had issued two challenges to me, and I had responded to each of them immediately. But I am still waiting for Lee Kim Sai’s responses to my two counter-challenges! Why has Lee Kim Sai suddenly ‘gone into hiding’ on the co-operative finance scandal, after the ‘big noises’ from him in the last few days? The reason is simple: Lee Kim Sai and the MCA Ministers know in their heart of hearts that the MCA is now the biggest stumbling block to the demand of the 588,000 co-operative depositors for a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to be guaranteed by the Government.
A responsible and conscientious MCA leadership would have openly admitted its ‘co=operative crimes’ and sought to redeem by getting the Cabinet to extend the Bank Bumiputera/BMF type of rescue plan to be launched by the Government which will ensure a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 depositors. Instead, Lee Kim Sai has become the chief spokesman opposing a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 co-operative depositors!
The MCA Minsiters performance on the $1.5 billion co-operative finance scandal is a great sell-out of the rights of the Malaysian Chinese whom they claim to champion and represent.
In early January, MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, called on the co-operative depositors again to “remain calm”, that “we have the best financial brains in the country working in Bank Negara on the co-operative problem”.
It is now about nine months since the outbreak of the Co-operative Finance calamity, and the “best financial brains in the country working in Bank Negara” had not been able to produce any results apart from the miserable 10 per cent payment before Chinese New Year for the majority of the co-operative depositors.
In the past, the Government need not depend on the “best financial brains in the country working in Bank Negara” to produce $2.5 billion to save BMF and Bank Bumiputra, or to produce $150 million to rescue Bank Rakyat. Even in the last six months, the Government found no difficulty in advancing $740 million to bail out the Co-operative Central Bank, the United Asian Bank and the Perwira Habib Bank.
Why should the 588,000 co-operative depositors have the dubious honour of getting the attention of the “best financial brains in the country working in Bank Negara” who could produce no results? What the 588,000 co-operative depositors ask is that the “ordinary brains in the Cabinet” give full attention to the co-operative financial calamity and take the policy decision to allocate a $60 million salvage plan for the 23 co-operatives so that the 588,000 co-operatives can have a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund.
Third Challenge to Lee Kim Sai: to explain why he and MCA Ministers dare not re-open the co-operative finance issue in Cabinet
I want here top issue third challenge to Lee Kim Sai, to explain why he and other MCA Ministers dare not re-open the Co-operative Finance calamity issue in Cabinet, where it properly belongs. The co-operative finance scandal issue must be brought back to Cabinet, taken away from Bank Negara, if the co-operative depositors are to get justice and fair play.
Is Lee Kim Sai and the other MCA Ministers prepared to support the demand that the co-operative finance scandal issue be brought back to Cabinet for a reconsideration and new policy decision?
This should be one of the objectives of the Co-operative Depositors’ Protest Camp Week in Gopeng. If co-operative depositors are not prepared to take the trouble, spend time and even money, to highlight their grievances, in a dramatic way as in making the Co-operative Depositors’ Protest Camp Week in Gopeng a success, then nobody would be able to help them.
I would urge co-operative depositors to let us know their views as to whether the Gopeng Co-operative Depositors’ Protest Camp Week is a good idea to put pressure on the Government to give them justice and fair play.
I would call on co-operative depositors who can converge on Gopeng and participate in the Co-operative Depositors’ Protest Camp Week to register with the DAP Co-operative Finance Scandal Committee(DAP CFSC), DAP MPs, Assemblymen and DAP Branches.
Call on co-operative depositors to give full support to Gopeng Declaration Movement
The second round of nation-wide public protest meetings of 588,000 co-operative depositors is to launch the Gopeng Declaration Movement to unite the 588,000 co-operative depositors in the Seven Big Demands of the Gopeng Declaration for government guarantee of ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund to the depositors, Cabinet take-over of the co-operative finance issue from Bank Negara, release of the full list of big co-operative borrowers, use of full legal powers to get co-operative directors and officers to reimburse the co-operative for losses, arrest and prosecution of all co-operative personalities for fraud and breach of trust, establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate government’s role in the co-operative calamity, and a six-monthly pay-out of at least 10 per cent to the depositors with the second payment latest by June this year.
I call on the 588,000 co-operative depositors to express in clear and unmistakable terms their full support for the Gopeng Declaration of the Co-operative Depositors.