Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the All- Malaysian Indian Progressive Front Labour Day dinner held at Restoran Nelayan Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 4th May 1991 at 8 p.m .
Kit Siang to write to Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to ask for full Parliamentary inquiry into serious and persistent allegations of multi- billion ringgit incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption in TEN contracts and projects.
In the last general elections, Opposition parties transcending race and religion banded together for the first time under the banner of GAGASAN RAKYAT to save democracy, restore human rights, fight for socio-economic justice, oppose corruption, abuses of power and criminal breach of trust and to build genuine national unity in Malaysia.
Although Gagasan Rakyat failed to topple the Barisan Nasional or to deprive it of the two- thirds parliamentary majority, the support given by the electorate showed that the fight for democracy, freedom, justice, national unity and against corruption had found great popular response.
This was why the Barisan National’s national vote was reduced to an all- time low of 52 per cent, and this would have been slashed to a minority figure if UMNO had not resorted to the most dishonourable tactics in the last three days of the election campaign to deceive and panic the Malay voters to flock back to vote for UMNO.
The battle for democracy, freedom, justice, national unity and against corruption and abuses of power must go on.
This is because the Barisan Nasional has been so long in government and power that it had become utterly insensitive to the aspirations of the people.
I have today received a 27- page letter by a group calling itself ‘Concerned Engineers, TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD’ who had tried valiantly in the past several months to draw the attention of the highest government authorities to the gross incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption involving billions of ringgit of TENAGA NATIONAL BERHAD (TEN) contracts, and pressing for investigation followed by arrests and prosecutions by the Anti- Corruption Agency.
In the recent budget meeting of Parliament, the DAP MP for Petaling Jaya, Dr. Kua Kia Soong, had repeatedly raised question involving incompetence, breach of trust and corruption in numerous TI contracts and projects, in particular the TEN award of seven turbines to a Swiss company at double the world market price, involving an additional cost of more than $600 million and the scandal the $35 million breakdown of the PAKA Power station in Terengganu.
The Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Samy Vellu, had thrown tantrums and produced a lot of dramatics in Parliament, but he had failed to give full, clear and sastisfactory answers to all the questions raised by Dr. Kua to put to rest all allegations of multi- billion ringgit incompetence, breach of trust and corruption in the top managmenet of TEN.
During the heated exchanges on this issue, Datuk Samy Vellu had told Dr. Kua and myself that he did not have certain information we wanted at the time, and that he would be writing to us to give the full details to clear all doubts about the various TEN transactions.
We have been waiting for over three months, but we have not received any further clarifications as promised by Datuk Samy vellu in Parliament to prove that there are no TEN scandals.
Yesterday, TEN chairman, Datuk Dr. Ani Arope, announced that TENAGA NATIONAL has revised downwards its projected pre- tax profit for the current financial year by $300 million because of the oil price hike during the Gulf crisis.
The Malaysian consumers would want to know what part of the TEN losses is actually because of the mismanagement and incompetence because of the unjustifiable capital spendings in the various dubious TEN contracts and projects.
Is the country on the eve of a major TEN power supply crisis with constant breakdowns in the near future?
The latest 27- page letter by the ‘Concerned Engineers, TENAGA NATIONAL BERHAD’ have provided more information about the multi- billion ringgit TEN scandals of incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption.
The TEN Concerned Engineers also warned that the TEN incompetence and mismanagement had reached such a serious position that a TEN power supply crisis could be expected in the next few months with ‘long, regular brownouts and blackouts’ as TEN would be ‘forced to embark on load- shedding to save its main power stations from crashing and costing ten billions in plant damage’.
Is this a false alarm, or are the TEN Concerned Engineers telling the truth?
After the Malacca water shortage crisis and scandal, the Malaysian public have very little faith in public assurances and statements by public officials. In Malacca, the water shortage crisis started as early as March last year, but in December of the same year, the Malacca Chief Minister could still lie to DAP Assemblymen in the Malacca Assembly that there was no problem with water supply in Malacca- a month before Malacca went completely dry!
Malaysians want an assurance from the highest authorities that Malaysia is not on the precipice of a major power supply crisis, with constant power supply breakdowns affecting homes, offices and factories; and if these assurances prove to be untrue in the near future, then the heads of those who gave such false assurances should be put on the chopping block!
In view of the serious and persistent charges of multi- billion ringgit incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption in TEN contracts, the time has come for an independent and impartial inquiry to be conducted into the TEN administration to get to the root of the story.
I propose to write to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to suggest that a Parliamentary Inquiry be established into the serious and persistent allegations of multi- billion ringgit incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption in major TEN contracts and projects.