Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang at a DAP Gopeng Parliamentary by-election ceramah at Kinta Valley Estate, Batu Gajah on Monday, 11.5.1987 at 9 pm
I accept full responsibility for the consequences of the 24 co-operatives if the Government is prepared to make a $600 million grant apart from the $400 million soft-loan scheme
Yesterday, Datuk Lee Kim Sai challenged me whether I would accept the full consequences if the Government agreed to allocate $600 million to aid the co-operatives.
He claimed that unlike the DAP, MCA is asking for $1.4 billion from the government to ensure that the depositors of all the 24 co-operatives can get a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund. He claimed that with only $600 million, other co-operatives like Fortiss, Sakapp, kosatu would have to be wound up and would only get from 20 to 30 per cent of their deposits.
He said the MCA is prepared to accept my suggestion and fight for $600 million.
Datuk Lee seemed to have forgotten his statement a day earlier that “once MCA nods its head, the $600 million can be taken anytime”, so the question of ‘fighting for $600 million” does not arise!
I had explained that according to the White Paper tabled in Parliament last November, the 24 co-operatives faced two main financial problems:
1. Many of the DTCs are insolvent, with 21 out of the 24 DTCs having negative capital of $600 million.
2. The DTCs are illiquid. Most of their assets were tied up in property and shares, which are subjects to large losses if liquidated under conditions of forced sale.
I therefore accept the challenge of Datuk Lee Kim Sai to bear full responsibility for the consequences of the 24 co-operatives if the Government is prepared to make a $600 million grant, apart from the $400 million soft-loan scheme, because on the basis of the White Paper Report, this two-packet rescue operation would be adequate to ensure dollar-for-dollar refund.
There is no need for wither KOSATU, Fortiss, Sakapp or KAMUDA to be liquidated at all, if the Government is prepared to make this $600 million grant apart from the $400 million soft-loan scheme.
I absolve Datuk Lee Kim Sai all responsibility for the co-operatives, and I will bear the consequences, if such a $600 million grant, together with the $400 million soft-loan scheme, is unable to form the basis of a ‘sollar-for-dollar’ refund for 588,000 depositors or if KOSATU, FORTISS or KOMUDA are liquidated.
For this sake of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, I am prepared to put my entire political future at stake if the Government is prepared to make this $600 million grant to rescue the 24 co-operatives, apart from $400 million soft-loan scheme.
I now wait for Datuk Lee Kim Sai’s response. As Datuk Lee said that if what is wanted is only $600 million, all that is needed is for the MCA Ministers to nod their heads, I now challenge him and other MCA Ministers to nod their heads immediately, Ghaffar baba, Deputy Prime Minister, who in coming to Gopeng, should announce that the Government has decided to make this $600 million grant to the 588,000 depositors, and which is to be immediately allocated before polling day. If Datuk Lee cannot do this, then his bluff is being publicly called!
With $600 million government grant, apart from the $400 million soft loan, the DAP is prepared to form a high-level committee to work out a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund to the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
Lee Kim Sai is becoming of ‘Master’ of deception, lies and evasions
Lee Kim Sai has become a ‘Master’ of deception, lies and evasions. I do not think he has told more lies and distorted more truths in his whole life than in the last four days of the campaign. This is most ironical, when the MCA is supposing to be waging a ‘Mr. Clean’ campaign in the Gopeng by-election.
Another good example of this shameless distortion and evasion is Datuk Lee’s explanation on the MCA’s general elections promise last year that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had given a solemn pledge in may 1986, that Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act would be mended in July 1986 Parliament, and if Parliament is dissolved and general elections held, at the first meeting of the new Parliament.
I will not allow Datuk Lee to evade this solemn MCA general elections pledge. I want him to answer the following questions:
1. Did the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, give a solemn undertaking to MCA that Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act would be amended either in July 1986 Parliament or the first meeting of the new Parliament?
2. If the Prime Minister had given this solemn undertaking to MCA, why is it the MCA allowed it to be broken? Is the MCA suggesting that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed is a liar? I am going to ask the Prime Minister in the next Parliamentary meeting why he is a liar, as the MCA said he had given a solemn promise on amendment of Clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act, which he had broken.
3. Or is it that the MCA was the liar, in that the Prime Minister never gave the solemn undertaking on Section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act. How many times in the past 30 years had the MCA used the name of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or the Government when it had no authority to do so? Is Datuk Lee’s claim that all it needed to get $600 million for the 588,000 co-operative deposits from the government is for the MCA to nod its head, another such bare-faced lie?