Why didn’t the Government dissolve the NECC as it refuses to accept all its recommendations?

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, to a meeting of officials of Muar DAP Branches held in Muar on Saturday, 25th August 1990 at 8 pm

Why didn’t the Government dissolve the NECC as it refuses to accept all its recommendations?

In his speech to the Harvard Club of Malaysia dinner on Wednesday night, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said that the Government is not bound to accept all recommendations of the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) on the ground that the DAP and several representatives of Chinese organisations as well as one representing inter-religious groups had withdrawn from it.

Dr. Mahathir said .that “we are almost back to square one where the Government has to formulate and devise the economic policy after 1990 by itself”.

If Dr. Mahathir’s position is that, without the participa¬tion of the DAP and representatives from Chinese organisations and the representative from inter-religious groups, the government would not accept its recommendations for lack of a consensus, then why did the Barisan Nasional go through the farce and charade of allowing the NECC to meet for the past one year?

Why didn’t the Barisan Nasional Government just dissolve the NECC once the DAP had withdrawn
from the NECC, instead of wasting hot only public funds, but the time of the NECC representatives?

Dr. Mahathir’s statement has confirmed the DAP’s reserva¬tions right from the beginning that the
Barisan Nasional Government is not sincere in wanting to seek a national consensus on post-1990 national economic policies, but merely to use the NECC as a political gimmick for its electoral ends.

It the Barisan Nasional Government had wanted to use the NECC as the forum to arrive at a national consensus on post-1990 national economic policies, then the most important UMNO leaders, including the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and top UMNO Ministers, should have joined the NECC to take part in the process of give-and-take to hammer out a national consensus on post 1990 national economic policies.

The top UMNO leaders cannot claim to be sincere in wanting to take part in working out a national consensus when they send fourth or fifth-ranking officials to the NECC, whi1e they themselves stay out of the process.

How can there be national consensus when there are people who regard themselves as exercising higher powers of appeal to veto or overrule such national consensus arrived at in the NECC?
The DAP had often been criticised by the Barisan Nasional leaders for being negative and unconstructive in our views.