Why is the Barisan Nasional Government supporting a chief BMF Scandal criminal, Dr. Rais Saniman, in sponsoring the forthcoming publication of a book by him

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, 18th June 1990 on the 1989 and 1990 Supplementary estimates

Why is the Barisan Nasional Government supporting a chief BMF Scandal criminal, Dr. Rais Saniman, in sponsoring the forthcoming publication of a book by him

Parliament is asked to approve four sets of supplementary estimates, namely:

4th Supplementary Operating Estimates 1989 $1,252,478,700
1st Supplementary Operating Estimates 1990 $ 122,243,400
4th Supplementary Operating Estimates 89 $ 159,500,000
1st Supplementary Operating Estimates 90 $ 476,623,010
Total $2,010,845,110

The most shocking allocation is the request for $1,252 million under the fourth Supplementary Operating Estimates 1989. The first, second and third supplementary operating estimates for 1989 total $583 million, while the fourth supplementary operating estimates alone is the huge chunk of $1,252 million.

Out of this huge $1,252 million allocation, 0.2 per cent or $2.5 million is for Perkhidmatan Jabatan, i.e. ‘dikehendaki untuk menampung kekurangan peruntukan bagi bayaran sewaan computer, bekalan kertas computer dan pita mengetik, penyelengaraan computer dan mesin penandatangan cek dan kos mengubahsuai bilik computer’. We have no objections to this allocation.

But what is shocking is that 99.8 per cent or $1,250 million is for a most mysterious proposes.

All that the ‘Nota Penjelasan Perbelanjaan Bekalan’ in Kertas Perintah 7A on the Memorandum Perbendaraan mengenai Anggaran Perbelanjaan mengurus Tambahan Keempat Tahun 1989 has to say for this huge chunk of allocation are the following few words: “Tambahan sebanyak $1,250,000,000 adalah dikehendaki untuk dipindahkan kepada ‘Kumpulanwang Pembangunan bagi membiayai projek-projek pembangunan kerajaan.’”

There is no other detail or information as to how this big chunk of $1,250 million for development projects had been spent.

It is significant that the original 1989 estimates for Maksud 8.30 for Peruntukan Kepada Kumpulanwang Terkanun is only $257 million, while in the fourth 1989 estimates is asking for five times the original amount, and for one particular purpose only!

Barisan Nasional spent $1,250 million to buy votes in the six by-elections in 1989

Now what is the purpose of the extraordinary additional vote of $1,250 million? The answer is simple. It was used to enable the Barisan Nasional Government to buy votes in the six by-elections held in Peninsular Malaysia in 1989, and to buy victory in five of them.

This is the first time in Malaysian parliamentary history that such a colossal sum is asked for in a supplementary estimate for ‘government development projects’.

The six by-elections held in 1989 were the Ampang Jaya and Bentong parliamentary by-elections, and the State by-elections of Teluk Pasu in Trengganu, the Tambatan by-election in Johore, the Teruntum by-election in Pahang and Sungai Besar by-election in Selangor.

Now, the people know where the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghaffar Baba, got his money from when he helicoptered around during the Ampang Jaya, Bentong, Teluk Pasu and Tambatan by-elections to distribute bags of money, purportedly for government development projects.

This is nothing more than the politics of money and politics of corruption – which the Barisan Nasional givers the euphemism of the politics of development.

Without this blatant politics of money and corruption, the Barisan Nasional could not win the two Parliamentary by-elections of Ampang Jaya and Bentong, and we would have different Human Resources Minister as well as Deputy Speaker No. 2 in the House today.

The politics of money and corruption, however, cannot hide the fact that UMNO Baru and the Barisan Nasional face the gravest political challenge in the next general elections, and some of the money being asked for would have been spent, not only for the six by-elections in 1989, but to buy votes in other constituencies for the coming general elections as well.

The UMNO Baru and Barisan Nasional should realise that there is only a limit to which the politics of money and corruption could buy votes and elections. For instance, although the Barisan Nasional won the Ampang Jaya parliamentary by-election in January 1989, an analysis of the results show that the Barisan Nasional face deep trouble if the Ampang Jaya by-election results is the trend for the next general elections.

In the Ampang Jaya by-election, although the Barisan Nasional won, its majority of over 30,000 votes in the 1986 general elections was slashed to some 4,000 votes three years later in the by-election, representing a swing of 35.6 per cent of the Barisan Nasional votes.

If Ampang Jaya by-election result is the trend in next general elections, Dr. Mahathir would have lost power

If in the next general elections, there is an across-the –board 35.6 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional, then Barisan Nasional would be left with only 14 Parliamentary seats in the Peninsular Malaysia, and Dr. Mahathir Mohamed would have become the new Parliamentary Opposition Leader, to lead a mosquito political movement.

In actual fact, there is no need for a 35.6 per cent swing against the Barisan Nasional in the next general elections for the Barisan Nasional to lose power. If there is a 20 per cent swing, a new government would most likely bee replacing the Barisan Nasional government, while if there is a 12 per cent swing, the Barisan Nasional government would have lost its traditional two-third majority in Parliament.

This new political scenario in Malaysian politics, where for the first time in 33 years there could be political change, is of course the reason why Dr. Mahathir is hesitant about dissolving Parliament and caling for general elections.

I have no doubt that although the first 1990 Supplementary Operating Estimates have not asked for a single cent of allocation for Maksud 30 for Government development projects, the government must have spent hundreds of millions of dollars already without parliamentary approval because of the coming general elections.

After the next general elections, I will not be in the least surprised that Parliament would have to approve a colossal vote may be twice the present $1,250 million asked for last year, to meet the Barisan Nasional government’s current exercise to buy votes.

The general elections is not far away, with the Prime Minister embarking on his nation-wide tour of UMNO Baru divisions yesterday. Clearly, one of the main objectives of the Prime Minister’s nation-wide tour, which ends on July 15, will be for him to decide whether he is confident enough to dissolve Parliament to hold general elections or push it off as far as possible.

It is significant that the divisions the Prime Ministers has chosen, starting with Lembah Pantai, to be followed with Besut, Jelebu, are constituencies where the UMNO Baru are expected to lose in the next general elections.

I have no doubt that in these visits by Dr. Mahathir, although in his capacity as UMNO President, he would be approving on-the-spot development projects which have not been approved by Parliament yet, and which would have to the subject of a new supplementary estimates in the subsequent Parliamentary meeting. This will be the politics of money and corruption in action!

Barisan Nasional camouflaging ‘politics of money and corruption’ under ‘politics of development’

This politics of money and corruption, camouflaged by the Barisan Nasional as the politics of development, will be one of the tactics used by the Barisan Nasional Government to buy votes. Another will be the Politics of Blackmail.

The Barisan Nasional Government will tell the voters that they will not et a single cent of this huge vote for government development projects, although as Malaysian citizens, they are entitled to their share of the development projects and should not be treated as second-class citizens subject to government discrimination on development projects.

Another tactic will be the politics of lies, as for instance, in accusing the DAP of wanting to establish an Islamic State by co-operating with PAS, MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders do not blink an eye in telling such blatant lies. At the same time, UMNO leaders will accuse PAS of betraying its Islamic State objective by co-operating with DAP.

In fact, the Barisan Nasional leaders have spouted so much lies that the Gerakan President has even asserted that a Cabinet Minister has the constitutional right to tell lies!

The Education Minister is fond of accusing the Opposition of two-faced politics. This is what the Barisan Nasional is guilty of, with MCA and Gerakan accusing the DAP of selling out by accepting the Islamic State, while UMNO accusing PAS of selling out by giving up the Islamic State. Are these Barisan parties suggesting that DAP has become PAS and PAS has become DAP? This shows how desperate and bankrupt the Barisan Nasional leaders have become for fear of losing power.

Lim Keng Yaik has no confidence in UMNO Baru’s confidence in next general elections

No wonder the Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik could publicly predict that PAS could win 25 Parliamentary seats in the next general elections. If PAS can win 25 Parliamentary seats, then Semangat 46 which will contest in more seats, should win even more, say 45 Parliamentary seats. In that case, Dr. Mahathir and UMNO Baru would be left with less than 20 Parliamentary seats, and would have lost power.

This shows that even the Gerakan President has lost confidence in UMNO Baru in the next general elections. No wonder, at one stage, he sent out feelers to DAP and Semangat 46 to work out some sort of secret arrangement after the general elections.

It is precisely because of this lack of confidence that we see more and more the use of another tactic, the politics of fear, with Barisan Nasional leaders warning that there will be another May 13 riot, bloodshed and chaos, if the Opposition wins. This is most irresponsible. Are the Barisan Nasional leaders implying that they will not accept the democratic verdict of the people in the next general elections if they lose, and will create trouble in the country? Are they saying that they will only accept the elections result if they win, but not if they lose?

The Opposition will accept the results of the general elections, whether we win or lose. This shows we are the real democrats, unlike the Barisan Nasional leaders.

This politics of fear can of course be applied in different manner. Yesterday, the DAP, Semangat 46 and the AMIPF were to have a joint ceramah in Sebarang Jaya with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, M.G.Pandithan and myself as the main speakers. This of course is in the constituency of the Education Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, whose influence was used to deny us from having the grounds from holding the ceramah, for Anwar Ibrahim is afraid that thousands and thousands of people in his constituency would come to our joint DAP-Semangat 46-AMIPF national ceramah.

The next general elections is not far off. This explains the vote for $14,850 for the Election Commission under the first supplementary operating estimates for 1990. I am surprised that the government is not prepared to give the Election Commission a bigger supplementary allocation of about $50 million, to clean up the scandalous electoral rolls where there is multiple registration as well as unauthorised and illegal transfer and registration of voters.

Clearly, the Barisan Nasional has a vested interest in keeping the Electoral Roll unclean, as this works to the advantage of the ruling parties.

There had been a lot of irregularities in the snap 27-day voters’ registration exercise in March. For instance, UMNO Baru transferred voters from Tanjong constituency to Permatang Pauh. Is this the only way Anwar Ibrhim could win in his parliamentary constituency?

The government should also make allocations to the Election Commission to allow it recognize and co-operate fully with the sic-man Election Watch to ensure that the next general elections is free, fair, clean and honest.

In fact, the Prime Minster should invite international missions to observe the next general elections to prove that our elections are clean, fair and honest.

Malaysia should set the example to ask for such international observer missions to our general elections, especially as the Kuala Lumpur CHOGM Commuique last October suggested that this would be an effective form to strengthen democratic institutions in member commonwealth countries.

I am also very concerned about the corruption involved in administering the $1,250 million for government development projects.

Corruption in Malaysia is rampant, and the Anti-Corruption Agency cannot break the backbone of this scourge of corruption, unless the Barisan Nasional Government has the political will to declare uncompromising war against corruption in public life.

However, the Barisan Nasional Government’s record against corruption and abuses of power in high political places is a dismal one.

For instance, it was reported that one of the chief criminals in the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) Scandal, former BMF alternate director, Dr. Rais Seniman, had been arrested in Paris after being a fugitive from justice for seven years since 1983.

Rais Seniman is sought by the Hong Kong authorities to stand trial on 33 charges of fraud and corruption.

The 55-year-old former senior general manager of Bank Bumiputra was picked up by the French police on Tuesday after the Hog Kong Government submitted a fresh application to extradite him to stand trial together with George Tan, former chairman of the now defunct Carrian Group, which was the biggest borrower from the BMF.

Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, is not elated, but seems embarrassed and unhappy about Rais’ arrest

What is the stand of the Malaysian Government on Rais Seniman? Isn’t the Malaysian Government keen to get Rais Saniman back to Malaysia to face trial for his role in the ‘heinous crime’ of defrauding $2.5 billion of the Malaysian taxpayers’ money?

Utusan Malaysia asked for the views of the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, but he seemed to be very embarrassed instead of being elated by Rais Saniman’s arrest. Tan Sri Abu Talib made clear that Rais Saniman’s arrest was at the wishes of the Hong Kong authorities, and had nothing to do with the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Malaysia.

I would have brought that the Attorney-General would have publicly hailed the arrest of Rais Saniman, as bringing him one step closer to justice. But no, he seemed embarrassed and even disturbed. Why is this?

Clearly, the government leaders do not want to see the BMF criminals brought to justice and to pay for their crimes to mulcting the Malaysian taxpayers of $2.5 billion.

In fact, I believe that top government officials had been in touch with Rais Saniman, knowing all the time his residence in Hance. In fact, the Government has authorized ad sponsored Rais Saniman to write a book and a government agency, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, is to publish this book to be entitled: “Malaysia NEP: Growth and Ethnic Inequality”.

When the government authorities and sponsors the publication of a book (like the book ‘Judicial Misconduct’ – which I understand was paid $300,000 even before a single book was sold), it means government approval of the writer.

If the Barisan Nasional Government canopenly demonstrate its approval of Dr.Rais Saniman, despite his criminal role in the BMF scandal, how can the Barisan Nasional Government convince the Malaysians and the world that it is serious about integrity and incorruptibility in public life?

Proxy battle between contending UMNO Baru factions in the University of Malaya

Powers against corruption and abuse of power are invariably used as political weapons by the UMNO Baru against political enemies, or even in intra-party feuds. A good example is the proxy battle between contending UMNO Baru factions in the University of Malaya, in particular over the University of Malaya Vic Chancellor, Professor Syed Hussein Alatas.

Was there any basis for the Anti-Corruption Agency to raid the house of Professor Syed Hussein Alatas, or was he just a mere pawn in the UMNO Baru power struggle?

DAP deplores the Pulau Pankor Incident where Royal Malaysian Navy opened fire at a trawler boat

Finally, in coming to this House for approval for government expenditures, the House must be convinced that the government is serving the people and not oppressing the people.

More than a week ago, there was a highly deplorable incident of a Royal Malaysian Navy boat, KD Sri Selangor, opening fire on a trawler boat off Pulau Pangkor, and the fishermen were lucky to be still alive.

The fishermen are a highly harassed lot under the Fisheries Act, which should have been amended to remove the highly oppressive provisions like mandatory confiscation of boats for certain offences. Unfortunately, Barisan Nasional Ministers and Deputy Ministers, like Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and Ng Cheng Kuai, whose constituents include these highly harassed fishermen, are not in the least concerned about their plight and the oppressive Fisheries Act.

Now, the fishermen find that with the Pulau Pangkor shooting incident, the Royal Malaysian Navy, instead of being a protector, has become a grave threat to both their livelihood and their lives.

The authorities must give a categorical assurance that the Pulau Pangkor shooting incident where a Royal Malaysian Navy boat opened fire on a local trawling boat engaged in his fishing activities will never occur again.