Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the 588,000 Co-operative Depositors Protest Burning of the ‘Co-operative Snakes’ held in Lawan Kuda padang on Tuesday, 12.5.1987 at 5 pm
Call on Bank Negara to freeze or re-freeze the assets of Tan Koon Swan, Kee Yong Wee, Wang Choon Wing, Dr. Tan Tiong Hong and other MCA leaders under Emergency Regulations to protest the interests of 588,000 depositors
Three important facts have been clearly established nine months after the outbreak of the $1.5 billion Co-operation Finance Scandal, hitting 588,000 co-operative depositors and over half of the Chinese community.
These three facts are as follows:
(1) Without MCA, there will be no $1.5 billion co-operative finance scandal;
(2) Without the protection of ‘political snakes’ in MCA, there will not be much freedom or opportunity for the ‘co-operative snakes’ to defraud and steal the hard-earned life savings of 588,000 co-operative depositors;
(3) Without the DAP, and our single-minded pressures on the Government and MCA on the $1.5 billion co-operative scandal, there won’t even be a refund of 10 per cent to the depositors.
From these three important facts, we must draw two conclusions:
(1) That the 588,000 co-operative depositors must put the blame of the $1.5 billion co-operative finance scandal fully and squarely on the MCA – its Ministers and leaders; and
(2) That the 588,000 co-operative depositors must be prepared to continue to demand their rightful fight for the restoration or their deposits in the 24 co-operatives, which is a dollar-for-dollar refund, regardless of how long or difficult the battle.
There is no doubt that the after the first repayment of mostly 10 per cent in Janury this year, the sufferings of the 588,000 depositors would have been completely forgotten if not for the DAP’s unending campaign and the Gopeng by-election.\
The DAP has been accused of making political capital out of the sufferings of the 588,000 co-operative depositors. We in the DAP have nothing to gain personally from the co-operative issue, and yet we are prepared to spend time, money and effort in the face of great odds to try to arouse and mobilize co-operative depositors to fight for their own monies. If, the depositors of Gopeng on behalf of the depositors in the country make it clear that they do not want the DAP to continue with our nation-wide campaign to pressure the Government to give dollar-for-dollar refund, then the DAP is prepared to respect their wishes.
We are even prepared to disband the DAP National Co-operative Finance Committee, whose officials had been spending the past nine months running all over the round, organising demonstrations, holding public meetings, confronting co-operative directors, pressurising the Government, in the efforts to restore to the 588,000 depositors their ‘blood-sweat’ monies.
The $1.5 billion Co-operative Scandal is the greatest test as to whether the Barisan Nasional Government practices fair play and does not discriminate among its citizens
The DAP regards the $1.5 billion Co-operative Scandal as the the greatest test as to whether the Barisan Nasional Government practices fair play and does not discriminate among its citizens.
If the Barisan Nasional Government can allocate $2.5 billion to bail out Bank Bumiputra and $150 million to rescue Bank Rakyat, Barisan Nasional Government will be guilty of the most unfair and discriminatory practice if it is unable to come out with a $600 million direct grant, apart from the $400 million soft-loan scheme, to bail out the 24 co-operatives.
If the 588,000 co-operative depositors are not guaranteed a full refund by the government, then the Barisan Nasional Government will forfeit all claim to be a ‘clean, deficient and trustworthy’ government or ‘Pembela Rakyat’ whi ch was its slogan in the last general elections.
The DAP is most dissatisfied with the tardiness with which the ‘corporate snakes’ were arrested, prosecuted and convicted. The DAP, and in particular the DAP National Co-operative Finance Scandal Committee, had to keep up repeated pressures before the police, with reluctance, took action in one co-operative after another.
Even up to now, not all these involved in the co-operative fraud and bread of trust had been swept into the dragnet. The police’s ‘soft’ attitude towards co-operative personalities who had brought so much suffering to the 588,000 co-operative depositors is inexcusable and most deplorable.
DAP calls for formation of a Special Police Squad, Special Prosecution Squad and a Special Co-operative Crimes Court to deal with the co-operative snakes expeditiously
In view of the enormity of the crimes involved in the $1.5 billion scandal, I call for the formation of a Special Police Squad, Special Prosecution Squad and a Special Co-operative Crimes Court to expeditiously arrest all those involved in the co-operative crimes, and have them charged and tried by this year itself.
I also call on Bank Negara to freeze or re-freeze the assets of MCA leaders like Tan Koon Swan, Kee Yong Wee, Wang Choon Wing, Datuk Dr. Tan Tiong Hong and other MCA leaders as well as all personalities implicated in co-operative crimes, in order to protect the interest of the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
There is no ground or reason why Bank Negara, which had frozen the asserts of Tan Koon Swan, Kee Yong Wee and Wang Choon Wing on August 8, 1986 when the 23 co-operatives were frozen under the Emergency Regulations, should lift the freeze on these people.
DAP to consider launching a nation-wide signature campaign to demand that the Government reverse its Cabinet decision, as st ted in the White Paper, refusing to guarantee full refund or accept the dollar-for-dollar principle
The DAP is prepared to consider, in the next step of the campaign, the launching of a nation-wide signature campaign to demand that the Government reverse its Cabinet decision, as stated in the White Paper, refusing to guarantee full refund or accept the dollar-for-dollar return principle.
The DAP launched a most successful nation-wide mass signature campaign in 1984 to Save Bukit China, and stop the Malacca Chief Minister from trying to demolish the most ancient cultural, historic, religious heritage of the Malaysian Chinese. We secured 300,000 signatures.
Whether the DAP launches such a nation-wide mass signature campaign on the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal will depend on the outcome of the Gopeng by-election.