By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, 3.8.1987:
Closure of 55 KSM branches and retrenchment of 160 employee unfair and unjust, and reflects on competence
The closure of the 55 KSM branches and retrenchment of 160 employees without riving the workers adequate notice is most unfair, unjust and reflects very poorly on the competency, officiency and forward-planning of the KSM receiver, Price Waterhouse.
Price Waterhouse took over the KSM eight months ago in January, and should have been able to close down KSM branches and terminate the service of KSM staff in a manner which would be fair to the employee.
Price Waterhouse has now classified KSM branches managers who were retrenched as “unsecured creditors” who would only be paid after 1990, the deadline for the depositors to get their 50 per cent cash refunds.
Is this the position of all the 160 affected KSM staff who were retrenched a few days ago?
This is clearly and added injustice. There may be those who think there is no reason for me to speak up on behalf of KSM staff, but I am seeing the issue strictly from the standpoint of justice and fair play.
I call on the KSM receivers, Price Waterhouse, and in particular the MCA Ministers, to see to it that the retrenched KSM staff are immediately paid their outstanding claries, and should be given three months notice or pay in liou of notice for termination of service.
Until May 1987, the services charges of the receivers appointed by the court at the request of Bank Negara for the 23 deposit taking co-operatives had reached $7 million. This sum had been paid by Bank Negara as an ‘advance’, but would eventually be come out from each of the co-operatives. Why should the receivers get priority for payment of their fees, while the salaries of KSM staff arex have to wait until after 1990?
588,000 co-operative depositors betrayed by MCA
Meanwhile, the MCA Ministers think want the public to believe they had solved the co-operative finance scandal, when they had in fact betrayed the trust and hope of the 588,000 co-operative depositors.
The MCA Ministers promised a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash refund by March 1989, but produced instead a 50-cent refund by 1990, while the other 50 cents could be worthless shares certificate.
Up to now, there is no announcement of the details as to how is 50:50 scheme is to work out, and in particular when the second repayment would be made. The 50:50 scheme is definitely interior to the 25:25:50 formula suggested by Deputy Prime Minister. Ghaffa Baba, in September 1986, and which was rejected by the depositors as well as MCA. Under the 25:25:50 formula, depositors would have be repaid their 50 per cent (with 6 per cent interest) by next year. It would appear that the more the MCA Ministers fights’ for the depositors, the worse the depositors get!
I call on the MCA Ministers to return to the Cabinet to ask for the restoration of the 25:25:50 formula and reject the 50:50 formula. If they cannot fulfill their promise of a ‘dollar-for-dollar’ cash refund, as the 25:25:50 formula is definitely better than the present 50:50 formula.