Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to a meeting of Selangor DAP branch leaders held at No. 77, Jalan 20/9, Paramount Garden, PJ on Sunday, June 14 at 8 p.m
Call on Lee Kim Sai to resign as Cabinet Minister if he betrays the MCA Gopeng by-election pledge of full cash refund to depositors by agreeing to Radifah Aziz’s proposal that not all the refund be by cash
After Friday’s MCA Central Committee meeting, MCA Deputy President, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, said for the first time that the 588,000 co-operative depositors will not get full cash refund in its Gopeng by-election promise of ‘dollar-for-dollar’ refund by March 1989.
This is against the promise of all MCA leaders and workers in the Gopeng by-election and after, and appears to be the result of the threats and pressures by some UMNO Youth leaders asking for his sacking from the Cabinet.
On Thursday, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Datin Paduka Rafidah Aziz said that a solar-for-dollar refund may not necessarily mean “a payment of $1 cash for $1.” Reviving a proposal raised last year of paying the depositors partly in cash and party in share equity in the DTC concerned.
As this proposal was rejected last year when it was raised, Datuk Lee Kim Sai should hav come out with a clear-cut statement rejecting Rafidah’s proposal and that what the MCA meant and had promised in Gopeng by-election is “payment of $1 cash for $1” – inclusive of interests on the deposits.
Instead, Lee Kim Sai had grasped on the suggestion of Rafidah Aziz as if a drowing man clasping a straw, betraying the MCA’s Gopeng by-election promise of full ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash refund to depositors by March 1989.
Datuk Lee Kim Dai so easily softened and broken by threats by a few irresponsible UMNO Youth leaders?
If Datuk Lee Kim Sai is going to betray the MCA’s Gopeng by-election pledge of a full ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash refund to the 588,000 depositors, by saying that part of the refund will be by way of paper certificate of shares in the DTC concerned, then the DAP calls on Lee Kim Sai to resign as Cabinet Minister for trifling with the hardships, sufferings, and the rights of the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
Kim Sai should stop using the co-operative issue to get cheap publicity, but must ensure that the MCA’s Gopeng by election promise is fulfilled
I call on the four MCA Ministers and the MCA Central Committee to make it clear to eh 588,000 depositors and to the Government that when the MCA promised a full ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash refund by March 1989, they mean 100% cash repayment.
The DAP warns that we will not agree or accept a co-operative formula which refunds to the depositors partly in cash and partly in shares certificates, and if this is the MCA’s new stand, then the DAP withdraw our support to the MCA on the co-operative issue. The DAP insists on 100% cash refund to the 588,000 depositors by latest March 1989.
Lee Kim Sai seems to be interested in using the co-operative issue to get cheap publicity rather in ensuring that the MCA keeps its Gopeng by-election pledge of full cash refund by March 1989.
For instance, after the MCA Central Committee meeting on Friday, Lee Kim Sai told the press that the MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik had met Daim Zainuddin, Finance Minster, to finalise a solution for the co-operative question, and that as a result, Datuk Dr. Ling was half an hour late for the MCA Central Committee.
This gave hope and even joy to the 588,000 depositors who thought that a final solution for their rescue was being concluede. But yesterday, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik denied that he had met Daim Zainuddin over the co-operative issue. Datuk Dr. Ling said that he met Daim Zainuddin over urgent Trasport Ministry projects, and that the co-operative was only “fleetingly” discussed.
What is the meaning of a ‘fleeting’ discussion? It could just be a comment by Daim that the co-operative issue has become very controversial with UMNO Youth getting into the act, and Datuk Dr. Ling answering that the co-op issue remain the primary concern of the Malaysian Chinese, and nothing more!
If the Friday meeting between Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Daim Zanuddin had nothing to do with the co-operative issue, why then did Datuk Lee Kim Sai want to deliberately create the impression that it was a critical meeting over the co-operative issue?
Has Bank Negara put the ‘worst brains’ on the co-operative issue that it could not come out with a fair and satisfactory solution after 10 months?
Datuk Dr. Ling said yesterday that the Bank Negara was working “very hard and seriously” to find a solution to the co-operative issue. He said that he believed “that with all the best financial brains in the country, we will have a solution to the problem very, very soon.”
Datuk Dr. Ling had made the same statement many times for the past 10 months, and if the matter is left entirely in the hands of the ‘best brains’ in Bank Negara, then what is the role of the MCA Ministers and leaders on the co-operative issue?
As the Bank Negara has not been able to produced a fair and satisfactory solution to the $1.5 billion co-operative finance scandal, after 10 long months, I must question whether the Bank Negara had put its ‘worst brains’ on the issue. I cannot think how the ‘best financial brains’ in the country could spend ten long months, and still produced nothing!
Top UMNO leaders should stop the agitation of UMNO Youth leaders and divisions on the co-operative issue, if the country is not going to be dangerously polarized and undermining economic recovery
The Pasir Salak UMNO Youth Division yesterday adopted a resolution urging the Prime Minister to dismiss Datuk Lee Kim Sai from the Cabinet. It also urged the Government not to bow to pressure and threat from any quarter on the co-operative issue. Other UMNO Youth Division are expected to do the same.
The top UMNO leaders, such as the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, should stop the agitation by UMNO Youth leaders and divisions on the co-operative issue, if the country is not going to be dangerously polarised, with grave consequences to government efforts to regain national and foreign investor confidence in our economy, and further undermining our economic recovery.
The UMNO Youth Divisions should be made to realise that the demands and resolutions would give the depositors only one conclusion, that they are opposed to a fair and just solution to the problem by way of a full cash refund, and that depostors should be discriminated against, for they are not entitled to the Bank Bumiputera and Bank Rakyat type of rescue.
We are reaching a stage where the politicking in UMNO and MCA are harmful not only to national economic recovery, but to the principle of justice and fair play to the 588,000 depositors. If the UMNO Youth Divisions want to start a campaign against Lee Kim Sai, it is their business; but they must accompany their resolution calling for the sacking of Lee Kim Sai with a resolution calling on the Government to do justice and fairplay to the 588,000 depositors, by extending the Bank Bumiputera and Bank Rakyat rescue to the 24 DTCs. Let the UMNO Youth Divisions show that by going against Datuk Lee Kim Sai, they are not going against the 588,000 depositors and Chinese community.