Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a meeting of Perak DAP State and branch leaders at DAP Perak Hqrs at Kalan Chamberlain, Ipoh, on Saturday, 11.4.1987 at 2.30 p.m.
DAP to organize mammoth co-operative depositors’ meeting in Ipoh at end of April to allow Lee Kim Sai and other MCA Ministers to publicly convince 588,000 depositors why they are not entitle to Bank Bumiputra/BMF style of government rescue and ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund
In the past few days, the MCA leaders have shown their ‘true colours’ on the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal, for MCA Deputy President Lee Kim Sai in his capacity as the MCA Director of Operations for the Gopeng by-election, has made it very clear that the MCA is opposed to the demands of the 588,000 co-operative depositors for a government guarantee of ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund.
The DAP will organize a mammoth meeting of co-operative depositors in Ipoh at eng of April to allow Lee Kim Sai and other MCA Ministers to publicly explain and convince the 588,000 depositors why they are not entitled to fair and equal treatment from the government, which should save the 23 co-operatives in the way it saved BMF-Bank Bumiputra, so that the depositors could be guaranteed of a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund.
I challenge Lee Kim Sai and the other MCA Ministers to attend this Ipoh meeting to spell out the reasons why the 588,000 co-operative depositors should accept that they are second-class citizens and not entitled to fair and equal government treatment.
I had said two days ago that if Lee Kim Sai and the other MCA Ministers could convince the DAP that the 588,000 co-operative depositors and the 23 co-operatives are not entitled to be rescued in the way the government rescued BMF and Bank Bumiputra in the $2.5 billion BMF Scandal, the DAP is willing to give the MCA a walk-over in the Gopeng parliamentary by-election.
After the Ipoh meeting, the DAP leadership will decide whether the explanations of Lee Kim Sai and other MCA Ministers are convincing enough for the DAP to give the MCA a walk-over in Gopeng.
I hope Lee Kim Sai and the other MCA Ministers will have the courage to attend the Ipoh meeting of co-operative depositors to justify their opposition to the demand of the 588,000 depositors for a ‘dollar-to-dollar’ refund. This is in fact my fourth challenge to Lee Kim Sai on the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Calamity issue in the past four days!
Until Lee Kim Sai can convince the DAP to give MCA a walk-over in Gopeng by-election from him performance at the Ipoh Co-operative Depositors’ Meeting at the end of April, the DAP must continue with our preparations for the Gopeng parliamentary by-election.
Although there are people who think the DAP will win ‘hands down’ in Gopeng, DAP leaders and members who harbour such a view would be doing the party a great disservice. This is because the Gopeng by-election is going to be a very difficult and uphill battle for the DAP.
Firstly, we must never forget that as a rule, by-elections are stacked against the Opposition and highly advantageous to the ruling Barisan Nasional. Although the DAP scored three brilliant by-election victories before 1986 general elections, namely Kepayang, Raub and Seremban, the rule of by-election more favourable to the Barisan Nasional still applies.
Secondly, we must not overlook the fact that Gopeng is a MCA ‘safe seat’, and this was why the former MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, chose to contest in Gopeng as he was sure of 100% victory. The question is how the DAP is going to perform the Herculean task of turning the MCA’s ‘safe seat’ into an ‘unsafe seat’ within nine months of the general elections.
Party members must also be aware of attempts by our political enemies to undermine party until and solidarity by creating a picture that the DAP is facing a great crisis over the choice of the DAP candidate for Gopeng.
We must demonstrate that regardless of who is picked as the party candidate in Gopeng, everyone of us in the DAP is going to fight the Gopeng campaign as a single, united and effective force to do our utmost to do the difficult tasks of winning Gopeng seat.
Unless the party decides otherwise, the party’s candidate will only be known on Nomination Day on May 7.
The Gopeng by-election is going to be a very important electoral battle, but we will withhold giving the reasons why the Gopeng by-election is important until we have given Lee Kim Sai and the MCA Ministers a chance to convince the DAP that we should give them a walk-over in the by-election.
Prolonged Crisis of Confidence and Growing Corruption
There is no doubt that one of the great issues in the Gopeng by-election will be the prolonged crisis of confidence and growing corruption in the country, which had been a main factor impeding economic recovery.
Recently, a foreign magazine had an interesting article about the relationship between corruption and confidence in Malaysia.
This magazine reported on Malaysia’s incremental capital output (ICO) ratio to illustrate how adversely corruption had affected Malaysia’s economic growth and investment climate.
The ICO ratio is a useful tool of the macro-economist to measure the number of dollars of investment needed to generate one additional dollar of annual output. A high ICO ratio indicates an inefficient investment. This inefficiency can be the result of a combination of factors but corruption and bureaucratic obstruction rank high on the list.
Malaysia’s ICO ratio is 6:1, which is three times higher than the Pacific Asian average and ranks equal with India. During the latter days of Marcos era, the Philippines had an ICO ratio of 9:1. Indonesia’s ICO ratio is 4:1.
This means that whatever new foreign investment is brought into Malaysia, the net benefit to the economy of that investment will still be only two-thirds of the net benefit of the same investment to Indonesia.
The magazine gave a simple illustration of Malaysia’s high ICO ratio as compared to Indonesia – that Malaysia needs three new Sony factories for every two secured by Indonesia. Or to put it another way, waking a 2:1 ICO ratio as a reasonable regional average, it seems that $1.7 billion of the $5.2 billion to be invested in new projects granted approval by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority in 1986 alone will be lost to the Malaysian economy.
This is a very disturbing report, and Malaysians must be aware of our bad internation image if we are come to serious grips with the problem of the prolonged crisis of confidence and growing corruption in Malaysia.