Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a dinner DAP MPs held in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, June 26, 1991 8 pm
In other countries, important reports are released before a Parliamentary debate, but in Malaysia, NECC report is released after the debate
The Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, announced in winding up of the debate of the Second Outline Perspective Plan 1991-2000 and the National Development Policy that the Government decided to release to Report of the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC).
In other countries, important reports are released before a Parliamentary debate, but in Malaysia, under the Barisan Nasional government, things are done differently. The NECC report which should have been released to the MPs well before the debate on OPP2, is only formally released with the announcement by Ghafar Baba at the end of the debate in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Although the NECC report was tabled in Parliament in middle of last week, MPs was in no position to benefit from it, they are already hard-pressed for time just to read the OPP2, as of them received the report on the day that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamed, move the OPP2 motion itself!
In my case, I received the NECC report after I had spoken on the OPP2 and NDP.
The NECC Report, which was presented to the Prime Minister in the February this year, should have been made public in March so the public debate and feedbacks could be taken into account in the final formulation of the Opp2 and the NDP.
When the Government had finalised the OPP2 and NDP, should have made them public with ample time for MPs to study it to get public feedback.
This is how a genuinely democratic government would had dealt with the formulation of a long-range national economic politics involving the public in every step in its formulation.
This is not the case with the OPP2 and NDP, which is the work of a small handful of people. Until the very last minute, though the Cabinet had given formal approval, there was controvery between Cabinet Ministers as to what is inside the OPP2, as illustraed by the public dispute between the MIC President and Minister Telecom, Energy and Post, Datuk Samy Vellu and the UMNO National Vice President and Finance Minister, Datuk Anwar Ibrahim.
Cabinet Ministers know they do not have the final say the OPP2 and NDP, and is a rubber-stamp like Parliament, and this why the Gerakan President and Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Dr.Lim Keng Yaik, stayed away from Cabinet meetings which decided the OPP2-refusing to return from his overseas trip for the Cabinet meetings.
The change of the name of the New Development Policy National Development Policy when the parliamentary debate on OPP2 and NDP was in mid-stream us further proof of the cavalier manner in wh the post-1990s economic policy is decided by a handful of people.
It is great defect of the OPP2 and NDP that they had formulated and decided in such undemocratic circumstances, where from all parties were not only denied ample time and opportunity study the OPP2, denied access to NECC Report until after the debate but also denied ample time for debate on the OPP2.
How can an OPP2 and NDP, born in such undemocratic circumstances, be a rallying point for the Vision of 2,020 of Malaysia b a fully development nation in all sense of the word, whether economic ,political, cultural and nation-building?