Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday, 6th July 1991 at 12 noon
Call on Home Ministry to explain whether the 4th July issue of Far Eastern Economic Review was banned because of a four page expose of multi-million ringgit illegal logging in Malaysia
Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Ayob, said in Sintok yesterday that the government had banned the 4th July issue of the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) because it contained materials which would undermine national security.
Malaysians cannot be satisfied with such a bald statement but are entitled to know the reasons for the ban as befitting a democratic society.
The Home Ministry should explain whether the 4th July issue of Far Eastern Economic Review was banned because of a four-page expose of multi-million ringgit illegal logging scandals in Malaysia.
For the past two weeks, the nation had been rocked by reports of rampant illegal logging, particularly in Selangor, which involves theft of millions of ringgit of public property.
Even the Direcotr-General of the Forestry Department, Datuk Mohamed Darus Mahmud, publicly talked about ‘black sheep’ and dishonest forestry officers in the Forestry Department, while the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhamed Haji Muhammad Talib, had called for mandatory jail sentence for illegal logging.
Not to be outdone, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad, has today called for mandatory death sentence to be imposed for illegal logging in any part of the country.
Such calls make one wonder whether the Barisan Nasional leaders are serious about their concern about illegal logging, when there is no concern whatsoever about the numerous financial scandals which run into tens and hundreds of million of ringgit, and even billions of ringgit, involving Barisan Nasional leaders.
It is also obvious to Malaysians that widespread and rampant illegal logging is impossible without the collusion of influential Barisan Nasional leaders at some level.
Public skepticism about the seriousness and sincerity of the Barisan Nasional leaders in their recent outbursts against illegal logging can only be reinforced by the ban of the 4th July issue of the FEER because it carried a four-page expose of multi-million ringgit illegal logging in Malaysia, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.
For this reason, the Home Ministry must explain whether the ban is because of the four-page expose in the FEER on illegal logging in Malaysia.
If the Barisan Nasional Government is sincere about wanting to stamp out corruption, abuses of power and malpractices, including rampant illegal logging activities, then the Home Ministry should not ban the four-page expose in the July 4 issue of FEER.