Call on Lee Kim Sai to stop being the biggest political boaster in Malaysia, and should instead get Dr. Mahathir or Ghaffar to come to Gopeng to release $600 million to co-operative depositors before polling day

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang at a DAP Gopeng Parliamentary by-election ceramah at Gopeng market on Sunday, May 10, 1987 at 8.30 pm

Call on Lee Kim Sai to stop being the biggest political boaster in Malaysia, and should instead get Dr. Mahathir or Ghaffar to come to Gopeng to release $600 million to co-operative depositors before polling day

MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, is the biggest political boaster in Malaysia, for he said yesterday that if the MCA nods its head, the co-operative depositors can get $600 million any time but the MCA wants instead $1.4 billion from the Government.

Datuk Lee and the MCA Ministers think the 588,000 co-operative depositors and the voters of Gopeng are very immature and could be easily fooled by a Minister.

From the actions, statements and empty promises made by MCA Ministers and leaders during the Gopeng by-election campaign, it is clear that the MCA only regard the co-operative depositors as playthings, how to bluff them and the Gopeng voters for the MCA candidate by making the sweetest-sounding noises about the co-operative scandal.

I must say that in my long years in Malaysian politics, I have not come across greater political rubbish as said by Datuk Lee Kim Sai yesterday. He said if the MCA gives its nod, the $600 million for the co-operatives could be taken any time, but this would mean that five or six co-operatives like KOSATU, SAKAPP, Fortiss, KOMUDA would have to be liquidated.

I do not think Datuk Lee Kim Sai can find anyone to believe him that apart from the $400 million soft-loan scheme, the Government has agreed to allocate $600 million to rescue the 24 co-operatives, but the MCA Ministers were still not satisfied, and are fighting to get $1.4 billion.

But for purposes of argument, assuming that what Lee Kim Sai has said is true, then I challenge Datuk Lee to get Dr. Mahathir Mohamed or Ghaffar Baba to come to Gopeng before polling day on May 16 and announce that the Government had agreed to release immediately $600 million to the 588,000 co-operative depositors – apart from the earlier $400 million soft-loan scheme.

As Datuk Lee said all it needed for the 588,000 co-operative depositors to get $600 million is for the MCA Ministers to give their nod, they should nod their heads immediately so that the 588,000 co-operative depositors who had suffered so much in the past nine months can have an immediate repayment amounting to $600 million!

In the first payment to the 588,000 co-operative depositors in January this year, where most co-operatives refunded 10 per cent, although a few like KSM repaid 20 per cent, the total amount involved was in the region of $280 million.

This means that with the immediate release of $600 million, the depositors can look forward to second repayment which is two and a half times more than the first repayment. In actual terms, it would mean that the 166,000 depositors in KSM, who were paid 20 per cent in January, could get back another 50 per cent before May 16 if MCA Ministers will give their nod. Similarly, the 52,000 KOSATU depositors, 29,000 SAKAPP depositors, 6,500 Fortiss depositors, 40,000 Komuda depositors, 17,000 Kosmopolitan depositors and other who were given 10 per cent repayment in January can get at least another 25 per cent refund for the second instalment before May 16 if the MCA Ministers would nod their heads!

Would mean that if the KOSATU depositors, for instance, who are the biggest co-operative depositors in Gopeng, do not get a second repayment of another 25 per cent by before polling day, it is because MCA Ministers refuse to nod their heads – although UMNO Ministers had already agreed to give!

I would suggest that all Gopeng voters should ask the MCA Ministers during their visits or appearances in Gopeng why they cannot nod their heads immediately?

If the MCA Ministers claim that they want finally to get $1.4 billion from the government to rescue the 24 co-operatives, that battle can be fought after the release of $600 million to co-operative depositors before polling day.

It is clear that Datuk Lee Kim Sai could do nothing of the sort, for he is only treating the co-operative depositors as fools and jokes and mere objects to deceive in order to get Gopeng votes, the MCA Ministers are adding insult to injury to the 588,000 co-operative depositors, for they are treating them with utter contempt and disrespect with all the Gopeng by-election tricks on the co-operative issue.