By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Seremban on Saturday, 1.8.1987:
DAP calls on PNB to pull back on its foreign investments to be locally invested to promote national economic recovery and demonstrate the government itself has confidence in the economy
When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, visited United Kingdom last week, his overriding message to the British business community is that they should not miss the opportunity to invest in Malaysia, as there is an upturn in the economy and that the government has a new package of investment incentives.
The Malaysian Government would be more effective and impressive in its external drives for foreign investments if they could set a good example itself and demonstrate that it had unqualified confidence in the future of the Malaysian economy.
One such step would be for the Government to direct the Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) to pull back all its foreign investments to use the funds for local investments, which will demonstrate that the government itself has confidence in Malaysia’s economic recovery and future.
The PNB has invested over $300 million in British companies alone in London, and I understand that it is the PNB’s intention to make new investments in foreign countries to increase its profit margins.
If the Government and a government agency like PNB finds it more worthwhile to invest in foreign countries, why should foreign investors be attracted to Malaysia. Furthermore, it would set an example for local investors to take their monies overseas instead of investing in the country.
It is for this reason that the Cabinet should issue a policy directive to PNB to liquidate all its foreign investments, and that al PNB funds must be invested locally.
DAP calls on Labour Minister, Lee Kim Sai, to make public the proposed amendments to the Trade Unions Act 1959
Labour Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Sai, said last week that the Cabinet had approved the proposed amendments to the 1959 Trade Unions Act for presentations to the next Parliamentary meeting.
Trade unions have rightly objected as the proposed amendments had not been referred to the National Labour Advisory Council (N LAC) for a decision, and this highlights the lack of seriousness of the Labour Minister to respect and consult trade unions on matters affecting the workers. The proposed amendments to the Trade Unions Act to encourage the formation of in-house unions to break the influence and control of national unions will have far-reaching repercussion on the trade union movement and the lot of the workers themselves.
As the Cabinet has already approved the amendments to the Trade Unions Ordinance, I call on the Minister of Labour to make public the proposed amendment bill. There is no need or justification for the practice that a proposed bill, which might have taken several years to formulate, should be presented to Parliament with only two or three days’ notice for MPs to debate and decide.
The Government should be more open and accountable, and the Trade Unions Act Amendment Bill should be immediately made public for all interested parties to study in depth, so that the government can get more considered views before presentation in Parliament. Or is Datuk Lee Kim Sai so unsure of himself that he wants to keep the contents of the Bill secret until Parliament meets in October, so that there would be a minimum of informed debate and discussion on this vital issue?