by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Gopeng on Wednesday, 13.5.1987:
Datuk Lee Kim Sai should resign as Labour Minister if he backs out and fails to get the government to release $600 million to 588,000 depositors as I have accepted his challenge to assume responsibility for all consequences
MCA Deputy Minister and Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, should resign as Labour Ministerin shame and dishonor if he backs out of his challenge to me that if I accept full responsibility for all consequences, the MCA will get the Government to immediately release
$600 million for the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
I have accepted his challenge without hesitation, announcing that I am prepared to bear all consequences and pay whatever political price in exchange for the $600 million government rescue grant for the 588,000 co-operative depositors. The DAP has nothing whatsoever to do with the $1.5 billion Co-operative Finance Scandal, as it is the direct creation of the MCA and its leaders.
However, to help to alleviate the hardships and suffering of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, in exchange of a $600 million government rescue grant to the depositors, I am Prepared to absolve MCA of responsibility and bear all responsibility for the consequences of this move.
Datuk Lee said that once the MCA ‘nods its head, the $600 million could be taken out immediately for the co-operative depositors, and declared the MCA would ‘nod its head’ if I accept full responsibility for all consequences.
The $600 million co-operative ball is now in Datuk Lee Kim Sai’s court. If the MCA could not ‘nod its head’, MCA Datuk Lee would not only have proved himself a political liar, but that the MCA has a useless ‘head’ which should be capped off, if the 588,000 co-operative depositors and the five million Malaysian Chinese are to have hope and future in Malaysia.
Datuk Lee Kim Sai should not create excuses or diversions about the $400 million soft-loan scheme. When the DAP demanded in the Gopeng Declaration of the Co-operative Depositors on 24th March 1987 for a $600 million rescue fund to ensure a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund to the depositors, we meant a direct Government grant and does not refer to or include the $400 million soft-loan scheme.
If Lee Kim Sai thinks the $600 million rescue fund the DAP is demanding includes the $400 million soft-loan, then it shows his ignorance if not stupidity.
However, it is not important what Datuk Lee Kim Sai thinks is the demand of the dap. What is important is what did he mean when he said that if the MCA ‘Nods its head, the $600 million could be taken out any time for the 588,000 depositors.’
Surely, this $600 million that Kim Sai is referring to cannot include the $400 million soft-loan scheme which was announced in the White Paper last November. This would be trying to cheat thee 588,000 co-operative depositors, for the MCA Ministers had already agreed to this $400 million soft loan scheme in Cabinet as part of the Government decision not to give a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund to the depositors. About $280 million of this soft-loan scheme has already been utilised.
Now that I am taking Lee Kim Sai at his word, and putting my entire political future at stake for the sake of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, why is Datuk Lee Kim Sai going back on his solemn word now?
In fact, not a single soul believe in Datuk Lee Kim Sai that if MCA nods its head, the 588,000 co-operative depositors would immediately get $600 million.
If the MCA’s nod could be worth $600 million, the MCA would not be such a political joke, either in Cabinet, Government, parliament or the nation at large.
It is significant that Datuk Lee Kim Sai made sure that his statement that if MCA nods its head, the Government would release $600 million to the co-operative depositors, does not come out in the Bahasa Malaysia, English paper or ever radio and television.
This should be big news if true, and would have been splashed on the front-page of the English and Bahasa Malaysia papers, as well as radio and television news.
When the MCA and Barisan Nasional could splash all over the newspaper, radio and television over announcement involving a few million dollars, why is the Government so shy about this $600 million proposal to rescue the co-operatives?
There can only be one reason. Datuk Lee Kim Sai is not telling thtruth, and speaking without authorisation of the Government and Cabinet.
Cancellation of Ghaffar Baba’s planned trip is proof that Datuk Lee Kim Sai’s $600 million claim is a lie
The cancellation of the planned trip to Gopeng today by Deputy UMNO President and Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, is proof that Datuk Lee Kim Sai’s $600 million claim is a lie. If Ghaffar Baba comes to Gopeng, he is sure to be asked by the press whether it is true that if MCA nods its head, the Government would immediately release $600 million to the 588,000 co-operative depositors, but that the MCA does not want to nod its head because the MCA Ministers are asking for $1.4 billion?
If Ghaffar said there is no such thing, this would expose Lee Kim Sai’s as a liar. So it is better for Ghaffar not to come. Can Lee Kim Sai get the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, to confirm that what he said is true? If he cannot even get either the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Finance Ministers to confirm his 4600 million-nod claim, who does he expect to believe him.
If up to this late stage of the sufferings of the 588,000 co-operative depositors, Datuk Lee Kim Sai and the MCA Ministers are still prepared to lie and deceive the depositors, then the mca does not deserve any support of the people at all.
This is why the MCA yesterday tried to sabotage the Protest Meeting of the Co-operative Depositors had gathered to burn the ‘co-operative snakes’ who had defrauded and cheated them of the $1.5 billion.
The MCA branch at Lawan Kuda tried to ‘drown’ out the public protest meeting of the co-operative depositors with martial music. This best represents the role of the MCA. They are at odds with the depositors, and would not want them to have the opportunity to express their hardships and sufferings.