Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, on the Sixth Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, 10th July 1991
DAP calls on two Ministers, five Deputy Ministers, two Parliamentary Secretary and MPs from Barisan Nasional who were NECC members to resign because they voted in Parliament against the NECC proposal for a Royal Commission to monitor the implementation of the new government economic policy
I commend the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, for taking note of our protests in the debate on the Second Outline Perspective Plan and the National Development Policy last month that MPs from all political parties were not given adequate time to study the government’s plan before the parliamentary debate.
Although the Prime Minister in his speech introducing the Second OPP and the National Development Policy said tongue-in-cheek that there was no point in giving the Opposition adequate time, I am glad that this was just perverse illogic, empty rhetoric and his playing to the gallery, for in his heart of hearts, Dr. Mahathir knew that he was wrong in not giving MPs adequate time to study the government’s policy document before a parliamentary debate.
As a result, the Sixth Malaysia Plan was made available to MPs a week before the debate, but I still fault the government, because the Sixth Malaysia Plan should have been released a week ago to the public as well so that MPs could avail themselves of the benefit of public feedback in the parliamentary debate on the Sixth Malaysia Plan. What justification could there be for the Government to envelope the Sixth Malaysia Plan under the Official Secrets Act as if its clearly disclosure would jeopardize the security and stability of Malaysia!
In any event, as a responsible party which gives credit where credit is due. I commend the Prime Minister for listening to at least half of the criticism of the Opposition and hope that he would future respond the other half.
The Sixth Malaysia Plan, 1991-95, is the first phase in the implementation of the Second Outline Perspective Plan (OPP2) 1991-2000 which embodies the National Development Policy (NDP) to lay the foundation for Malaysia to attain the “status of an advanced industrialized nation by the year 2020” (Para 4.21).
Chapter One on the ‘policy Objectives and Framework’ of the Sixth Malaysia Plan said that the objective of the NDP is to “attain balanced development in order to create a more united and just society. NDP which emphasizes growth with equity will enable all Malaysians to participate in the mainstream of economic activities, thereby ensuring political stability and national unity.”
The Sixth Malaysia Plan states that the goals of balanced development are based on four considerations:
Firstly, the principle of growth with equity is fundamental to ensure the realization of a fair and equitable distribution of national wealth.
Secondly, a balanced societal development is conducive to the maintenance of social and political stability.
Thirdly, the nurturing and moulding of a Malaysian society with high moral values and ethic as well as positive attitudes are fundamental towards the creation of a responsible, resilient, progressive and caring society.
Fourthly, prudent management of natural resources and the ecology as well as preservation of natural beauty and clean environment are important to improve the quality of life for the present as well as future generations. (Para 1.06)
The 20-year First Outline Perspective Plan and the New Economic Policy 1971-1990 were also replete with such high-sounding objectives, goals and considerations but their implementation were a far cry from their professed intentions, and this was why the 20-year New Economic Policy had failed in its overriding objective to achieve national unity.
This was the reason why the National Economic Consultative Council (NECC) unanimously proposed the establishment of a Commission to be appointed by the Yang di Pertuan Agong to oversee and supervise the omplementation of the new government economic policies for the 1990s, which the NECC had proposed should be named the NDP.
The NECC Report, which incidentally was released after the Parliamentary debate on the second OPP when in other countries it would have been released well in advance, proposed that such a Monitoring Commission should:
• OVERSEE and supervise the national economic development machinery and ensure that actions of government officials and private bodies conform with the aims of the NDP;
• ENSURE that the administrative machinery of the Government and the private sector is conducted in a just and fair manner, with no deviation abuse;
• DRAW the attention of those concerned, whether in the public or private sector, to any abuse, wrongdoing, maladministration, etc, and make recommendation to correct the matters concerned;
• ASSEMBLE, prepare and analyse data and figures connected with the implementation of the NDP; and
• RECOMMEND the amendment of any particular law which may be found to be loose and could lead to abuse of power.
I had virtually submitted a similar proposal when I amended the motion of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, in the debate on the Second OPP in the Dewan Rakyat last month for the establishment of a Royal Commission to monitor the implementation of the Second OPP and NDP.
However, my amendment motion was rejected by a voice vote even without debate by any Barisan Nasional MP!
What is even more shocking is that two Ministers, five Deputy Ministers, two Parliamentary Secretaries and eight MPs from the Barisan Nasional who were NECC members and who had supported the proposal for a Royal Commission to monitor and oversee the implementation of the NDP also voted against the very some proposal when it was raised in Parliament.
How can these 17 Barisan Nasional leaders claim that the are sincere when they could support the proposal for a Royal Commission to monitor the implementation of government economic policies in the NECC and yet vote against it when the same proposal is raised later in Parliament?
These 17 Barisan Nasional NECC members include two current UMNO Ministers, Foreign Minister Datuk Abdullah Badawi, Justice Minister Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar. Five of them are Deputy Ministers, namely Deputy Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Abdul Kadir Haji Sheikh Fadzir (Kulim Bandar Baharu), Deputy Minister for Education, Dr. Fong Chan Onn (Selangor), Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Chua Jui Meng (Bakri), Deputy Minister for Works, Kerk Choo Ting (Taiping) and the Deputy Minister for Works, Datuk Peter Tinggom Anak Kamarau (Saratok, The two Parliamentary Secretaries are Ong Ka Ting (Pontian) for Home Ministry and Datuk Ismail bin Saad (Kemaman) for Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The eight Barisan Nasional MPs who were NECC members comprise of four from UMNO, one from Gerakan and three from MIC, and are:
1. Mohd. Tamrin Abdul Ghafar (Batu Berendam)
2. Dr. Jamaluddin Dato’ Mohd. Jarjis (Rompin)
3. Dr. Nawawi bin Mat Awin (Tambun)
4. Shahidan Kassim (Arau)
5. Dominic Puthucheary (Nibong Tebal)
6. S.S. Subramaniam (Segamat)
7. Dato M.Mahalingam (Kapar)
8. Dr. T. Marimuthu (Telok Kemang)
If political integrity means anything to them, then these two Ministers, five Deputy Ministers, two Parliamentary Secretaries and eight MPs from the Barisan Nasional should resign in shame and dishonour for voting against the DAP amendment motion in the debate on the Second OPP for a Royal Commission to monitor the implementation of the NDP when they had made the same proposal when they were members of the NECC.
The NEP scandals of the last two decades will be succeeded by the NDP scandals of the next decade.
The greatest indictment of the First OPP and New Economic Policy was the rampant scandals, deviations, abuses of power, criminal breaches of trust, conflicts of interest, unethical practices and malpractices committed in the name of restructuring of society and even elimination of poverty.
In his Foreword to the SMP, the Prime Minister said that “We must always be ready to put the good of the nation above self and sectarian interests”, but the rampant corruption, deviations, abuses of power, criminal breaches of trust, conflicts of interests, unethical practices and malpractices are ample proof that greed and selfishness are the compelling motivations in the higher reaches of government and society.
The recent spate of scandals are a timely reminder that the NEP scandals in the last two decades will be succeeded by the NDP scandals in the next decade, as the government has not demonstrated any genuine political will to enforce political accountability and responsibility on its leaders, whether at the Federal or State government level, or to bring to book those involved in scandals involving public funds or abuses or power.
There is firstly the $71 million Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal.
During the Parliamentary recess, I had warned the Defence Minister, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, that if he did not name the important UMNO leader involved in the $71 million Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal in Malacca together with Abdullah Ang of the prisons ‘water-bed’ fame, I would publicly name the UMNO leader myself.
As a result, Datuk Najib was forced to name the Kedah Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Osman Aroff, as the person who was involved with Abdullah Ang in the Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal, as he was director and shareholder of Sri Kinabalu Sdn. Bhd., the company which was awarded the contract for the ammunition depot in Malacca.
The Defence Minister however tried to play down the involvement of the Kedah Mentri Besar by repeatedly stressing that Sri Kinabalu Sdn. Bhd had wound up and that it was the consultant Sigoh Din Sdn Bhd whom the Mindef was interested in.
This is completely unacceptable. Datuk Najib said that Sri Kinabalu used improper and poor quality materials and shoddy workmanship on the depot. Both design and material defects were found on 75 of the 155 buildings used to store ammunition.
As example of how the contractor used inferior materials and did not follow specifications in order to get more profits, Datuk Najib said that Sri Kinabalu used 7 mm instead of 10 mm steel bars to reinforce the ceilings. The mixture for the plaster also had too much sand, resulting in the walls cracking and peeling.
Datuk Najib said that rpairs to the depot would cost as much as $30 million.
Tan Sri Osman Aroff should compensate the Federal Government for the $30 million losses, or he should resign as Kedah Mentri Besar and retire from public office
Tan Sri Osman Aroff cannot escape liability for the $71 million Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal. He might claim that legally he is not liable as Sri Kinabalu had been wound up, but this excuse is unacceptable from one holding such a high responsible office as Kedah Mentri Besar.
The pertinent question is whether Sri Kinabalu Sdn. Bhd was wound up to enable it to avoid its liability for the Masjid Tanah ammunition depot scandal.
Tan Sri Osman Aroff should break his silence and declare whether he would make good for the losses suffered by the Federal government and compensate the $30 million which the taxpayers have now to incur to repair the ammunition depot.
If Tan Sri Osman Aroff can escape clean from the Masjid Tanah ammunition depot, then the principle of accountability and responsibility is absolutely meaningless to the Barisan Nasional government.
Tan Sri Osman Aroff has two honourable choices before him: Despite the winding up of Sri Kinabalu, he should assume responsibility and compensate the Federal Government for the $30 million for the losses suffered as a result of the ammunition depot scandal, or he should forthwith resign as Kedah Mentri Besar and retire from public office.
If one of his statements, Datuk Najib said that he should not be held responsible as the ammunition depot scandal happened lone before he became Defence Minister. Is I am not mistaken, the Defence Minister at the time the contract for the ammunition depot was awarded was Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed himself. Is he prepared to accept personal responsibility for this scandal then?
DAP wants a White Paper on the $100 million KOBENA scandal
Secondly, there is the $100 million KOBENA scandal, which is caused by the UMNO and UMNO Youth leaders abusing their positions of trust and responsibility by misappropriating the KOBENA funds for their own personal and political purposes.
Why is the Government not prepared to issue a White Paper to expose all the criminal breaches of trust, abuses of power and malpractices in the $100 KOBENA scandal, as was done in the Bank Rakyat scandal?
Does the Mahathir Government have a lower standard of public accountability than the Hussein Onn Government?
The Government White Paper on the Bank Rakyat scandal in 1979 dealt with losses arising from malpractices, mismanagement and misuse of public trust and funds causing Bank Rakyat to lose $65 million but today, a $100 million KOBENA scandal seems very ordinary and routine!
The $260 million Bank Pertanian Scandal
Thirdly, there is the $260 million Bank Pertanian scandal, where even the World Bank had recommended that it ceased operations because of the abuses and misuses of its funds by political leaders, especially from UMNO, for their own ends.
The Bank Negara Annual Report 1990 admitted that Bank Pertanian was in a crisis when it said: “However, in the case of Bank Pertanian, loans for agriculture declined further by $94 million in 1990 for the third consecutive year, bringing the cumulative decline between 1988 and 1990 to $377 million.” (“Walau bagaimanapun, bagi Bank Pertanian, pinjaman untuk pertanian merosot lagi sebanyak $94 juta dalam tahun 1990 bagi tahun ketiga berturut-turut, menjadikan jumlah pengurangan di antara tahun 1988 dan 1990 sebanyak $377 juta.”)
The Bank Negara Report 1990 also states that “Total resources of Bank Pertanian declined substantially by 25.1% or $468 million to $1.396 million at the end of 1990, resulting in a sharp reduction in its share of the total resources of rural credit institutions from 43.5% in 1989 to 37.1%.” (“Jumlah sumber kewangan Bank Pertanian mengalami kemerosotan yang besar, iaitu sebanyak 25.1% atau $468 juta kepada $1,396 juta pada akhir tahun 1990. Ini menyebabkan sumbangannya kepada jumlah sumber kewangan institusi kredit luar Bandar jatuh daripada sebanyak 43.5% dalam tahun 1990 kepada 37.1%.”
The farmers for whom the Bank Pertanian was set up are entitled to know how Bank Pertanian has become another case of the long story of ‘Pagar Makan Padi’ under the Barisan Nasional Government.
Is the third Bank Bumiputra scandal many times more serious than the $72 million reported in the press?
The fourth scandal is the third Bank Bumiputra scandal in less than 10 years.
When in 1984, the Government directed Petronas to bail out Bank Bumiputra after the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, Malaysians were assured that after the revamping of the Bank Bumiputra management, Bank Bumiputra would be put on a sound footing.
But in October 1989, I had to move a motion of urgent, definite public importance in Parliament on the Second Bank Bumiputra scandal, involving another $1.1 billion Petronas bail-out of Bank Bumiputra because of a vast portfolio of bad loans.
Now, there is a third Bank Bumiputra scandal because of irregular transactions in the securities arm of Bank Bumiputra, the BBMB Securities Sdn. Bhd.
The past record of the government authorities to check irregularities in the securities market, especially insider-trading, is not something which inspires public confidence.
In fact, from the past record of the government authorities in charge of securities, it would appear that the Malaysian stock exchange are peopled by saints, and insider trading had never happened in Malaysia!
The BBMB executive director Dr. Jaafar Ahmad said that the BBMB Securities stands to lose $72 million from the irregular transactions but this is a very different figure quoted by the Singapore Business Times which said that the amount ranged between $100 to $180 million.
My sources tell me that the BBMB stands to lose an even bigger figure than the estimates given by the Singapore Business Times, which makes it many times the $72 million losses stated publicly.
Malaysians want to know the facts and not cosmetic explanations of the third Bank Bumiputra scandal. In particular, Malaysians want to know why the repeated revamping of Bank Bumiputra Board an management had failed to prevent repeated scandals in Bank Bumiputra!
Call for transparency in ownership of banks and finance companies with nominee companies banned from owning shares
The Sixth Scandal is the bank ownership and control scandal in Malaysia. I had asked during the debate n the Central Bank of Malaya (Amendment) Bill two weeks ago whether the former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, by using nominee companies, would own dominant stakes in six local banks through three mergers: Development and Commercial Bank and UMBC; Bank of Commerce and United Asian Bank; and Southern Bank and Ban Hin Lee Bank.
Neither the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, nor the Deputy Finance Minister, Abdul Ghani Othman, had been able to give a satisfactory answer on this matter. Can we get a firm statement, for instance, as to whether the proposed merger of D & C Bank and UMBC is going though or not?
It is clear that the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) has a loophole which allows the use of nominee companies and proxy companies to effectively overcome the provision that individuals and companies must not own more than 10 and 20 per cent respectively or the shares in a commercial bank.
I am not satisfied with the explanation given by Anwar Ibrahim and Abdul Ghani Othman that Bank Negara has he power to order the nominee companies to disclose the true identity of their real owners.
BAFIA must be amended to provide for transpency in ownership of shares in banks and finance companies, prohibiting shares of banks and finance companies to be acquired in the name of nominee companies.
There should also be another amendment to the BAFIA to remove the right of the Minister of Finance to exempt certain individuals or companies from the ownership limits imposed by the act.
This would then ensure that politically well-connected individuals will not get special favours as it happened in 1984 when Tun Daim Zainuddin’s family companies were allowed to own 40.7 per cent of the shares in UMBC.
Anwar Ibrahim is condoning and defending Daim Zainuddin’s illegal and unethical acquisition of 40.7 per cent of UMBC in 1984
In this connection, I want to express my surprise and shock that the new Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, is not only condoning but defending the illegal and unethical acquisition of 40.7 per cent shareholding of UMBC in 1984 by his predecessors, Tun Daim Zainuddin, through his family companies.
I had said in Parliament last month that his first acid test as a Finance Minister who would live up to his reputation as a crusader in his ABIM days against all forms of corruption, abuses of powers, conflicts of interest, unethical practices and illegalities is his preparedness to institute a full public inquiry into the three aspects of UMBC shares ownership scandal, namely Daim Zainuddin’s illegal and unethical acquisition of the 40.7 per cent stake of UMBC in 1984, as he was already Finance Minister; his illegal and unethical increase of his stake of UMBC to 50.4 per cent majority ownership in 1985; and thirdly his abuse of power in forcing Pernas to buy over his UMBC shares at a profit of over $100 million.
In his reply of June 27, Anwar said that the law was very clear and that the Minister of Finance had powers to exempt persons from the ownership limits with regard to shareholdings in banks. Anwar Ibrahim has deliberately refused to see the crux of the scandal – the conflict – of – interest situation where Daim Zainuddin, as Finance Minister, approved his own acquisition of 40.7 per cent of UMBC through his family companies.
Anwar Ibrahim is the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee of Malpractices, Abuses of Power and Corruption. As he has deliberately refused to see a conflict-of-interest situation in the UMBC shares ownership scandal when it is blindingly clear to everybody else, he should resign his Chairmanship from this Cabinet Committee.
The TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD scandal
I come now to the seventh scandal. DAP MP for Petaling Jaya, Dr. Kua Kia Soong, raised the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TEN) scandal in Parliament early this year, and raised questions involving incompetence, breach of trust and corruption in numerous TEN contracts and projects, in particular the TEN award of seven gas turbines to a Swiss company at double the world market price, involving an additional cost of more than $600 million and the scandal of the $35 million breakdown of the PAKA Power station in Trengganu.;
The Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Posts, Datuk Samy Vellu, in his reply in Parliament, threw tantrums and produced a lot of dramatics, but he failed to give full, clear and satisfactory answers to all the questions raised by Dr. Kua to put to rest all the allegations of multi-billion ringgit incompetence, breach of trust and corruption in the top management of TEN and the Ministry.
During the heated exchanges in Parliament, Datuk Samy Vellu said he did not have certain information at the time and that he would write to us to give us the details to clear all doubts about the various TEN transactions, but we have waited in vain for these written explanations from Datuk Samy Vellu.
I am sure that the Prime Minister has since then received a 27-page letter by a group calling itself ‘Concerned Engineers, TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD’ drawing is attention to the gross incompetence, criminal breach of trust and corruption involving billions of ringgit of TEN contracts.
The TEN Concerned Engineers 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 billions of ringgit in damage.
It is indeed most scandalous that there is no parliamentary or independent mechanism to investigate into such serious allegations as the self-serving and self-exculpatory explanations by TEN or the Ministry of Energy are not good enough.
This is why a Commission to monitor and oversee the implementation of government policies to check against deviations, abuses of power, conflict-of-interest and corrupt practices of the sort alleged in the TEN scandal would have a most important role to play.
FIMA $180 million Management Buy-Out is actually a Sell-Out
The eighty scandal deals with the scandals of the government privatization programme.
The Sixth Malaysia Plan reveals that the government’s Fifth Malaysia Plan privatization programme involved capital divestment of more than $2,000 million, a reduction of 54,000 employees and a saving of more than $400 million per year in emoluments. (Para 2.29). It claims that the Government also served some $5,000 million in terms of capital expenditures through the implementation of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concept for projects, such as the North-South Highway and Labuan water supply.
One of the last major government entities to be privatized under the Fifth Malaysia Plan is Kumpulan FIMA Berhad. Just before the last general elections, the Government announced that Kumpulan FIMA Berhad would be privatized through a management buy-out.
It was later revealed that Kumpulan FIMA Berhad would be privatized though a management buy-out by the FIMA Chairman, Tan Sri Bashir Ismail for $180 million.
Kumpulan FIMA had been closely associated with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, as his appointment as a director of FIMA in the early seventies (serving on the same board as Lorraine Esme Osman of BMF scandal fame) was his road back to UMNO mainstream politics after his expulsion from UMNO.
Kumpulan FIMA, incorporated in 1972, is involved in various activities, including the plantation, manufacturing, services and trading sectors. It has 26 companies in its stable, ranging from Ladang Fima to Kotak Malaysia.
Two of its companies, Fima Metal Box and United Estate Plantation, are listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. It was reported last year that Kumpulan Fima’s turnover was expected to exceed $700 million.
Among the Kumpulan FIMA’s prized assets are the quoted shares reserved for bumiputras which were distributed during the public listing of companies or the restructuring of the shareholding structure of companies.
I understand that Kumpulan FIMA was assessed and valued to be worth over $500 million. This means that the management buy-out for $180 million by Tan Sri Bashir Ismail is a virtual give-away.
Furthermore, I understand that to finance the management buy-out, Tan Sri Bashir pledged the assets of Kumpulan FIMA as collateral to raise the $180 million, which was underwritten by T. Ananda Krishnan who hit the headlines recently as Chairman of the Seri Kuda Sdn. Bhd., the developer of the multi-billion ringgit Kuala Lumpur City Centre which is to take shape on the former Selangor Turf Club.
The management buy-out of Kumpulan FIMA for $180 million when it was assessed and valued at over $500 million, with the financing through the pledging of the Kumpulan FIMA assets as collateral and underwritten by T. Ananda Krishnan, appears to be more of a sell-out!
The New Economic Policy and National Development Policy have perfected to a fine art the creation of instant multi-millionaires who could take over government conglomerates and entities worth hundreds of millions of ringgit without forking out a single cent and at absolutely no risk.
DAP calls for a review of the privatization of Kumpulan FIMA through such a scandalous management buy-out of FIMA, and proposes that Kumpulan FIMA should be privatized to the highest bidder in line with the government’s restructuring objective.
DAP calls for inquiry as to whether there is conflict of interest in Petronas’ taking 51 per cent controlling stake in Kuala Lumpur City Centre project and Ananda Krishnan’s underwriting of $180 million for Tan Sri Bashir Ismail
There is further a conflict of interest question in the Kumpulan FIMA management buy-out by Tan Sri Bashir Ismail.
When T. Ananda Krishnan unveiled the Seri Kuda Sdn. Bhd’s highly-controversial multi-billion ringgit 97-acre Kuala Lumpur City Centre project, he also disclosed that Petronas will take 51 per cent controlling stake in the project, which is estimated to involve $300 – $400 million.
Tan Sri Bashir Ismail is the Chairman of PETRONAS. The question arises whether PETRONAS’ taking of 51 per cent controlling stake in Seri Kuda Sdn. Bhd.’s Kuala Lumpur City Centre project is the consideration for Ananda Krishnan’s underwriting of the $180 million loan by Tan Sri Bashir Ismail for the management buy-out of KUMPULAN FIMA.
With such rampant incestuous relationship in the government and corporate sector, where the lines of distinction between public and private interests are completely blurred and lost, it is impossible to create the ethos and culture where in the words of Dr. Mahathir in his Foreword to the Sixth Malaysia Plan: “We must always be ready to put the good of the nation above self and sectarian interests.”
DAP calls for a full inquiry as to whether there is conflict of interest in the cross-dealings involving Petronas taking a 51 per cent controlling stake in the Seri Kuda Sdn. Bhd.’s Kuala Lumpur City Centre project and Ananda Krishnan’s underwriting of the $180 million loans by Tan Sri Bashir Ismail for the management buy-out of Kumpulan Fima.
The UEM’s $2 billion second Singapore-Johore Link has all the makings of a classic NDP scandal in the 1990s
The UEM’s $2 billion second crossing linking Johore with Singapore has all the makings of a classic NDP scandal in the 1990s.
Why was UEM issued the letter of exclusivity by the Government to submit the privatization proposal of the Second Link, which is expected to cost $2.3 billion involving the provision of a high-level 2,300-metre bridge between Tuas in Singapore and West Johore and the construction of a highway linking the bridge to the North-South Expressway.
The UEM Second Link project stinks as much as the UEM’s privatization of the North-South Highway, for which Sdr. Karpal Singh and I were detained under the Internal Security Act because of our opposition.
The UEM Second Link scandal will put the North-South Highway scandal in the shadows, however, because apart from the UEM Second Link, UEM is also angling for the development of a new township which is being talked about as the future capital of Johore with the development of some 26,000 hectares of land in West Johore for industrial, commercial and residential purposes.
This new township will cost another $2 billion and I understand that the UEM’s plans is to get the land, mortgage them with the bank and raise the funds for the building of the Second Link and the new township.
About 10,000 people in 52 kampongs in Tanjung Kupang in Johore area will be affected, both in terms of their livelihood as well as the dispossession of their tanah pusaka.
The affected residents have organised themselves to oppose the UEM’s project, as the livelihood of the 10,000 people would be jeopardized as they would be re-located when their land is acquired.
UEM can expect a long-drawn out battle between the 10,000 kampong people in Tanjung Kupang and the UEM, and this is one reason why the Government is amending the Land Acquisition Act to allow for compulsory acquisition of land not just for “public purpose” but where it is “beneficial to the economic development of Malaysia or to the public or any class of the public”, as in the UEM’s Second Johore-Singapore Link project.
Once the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill is passed, then the acquisition of the land of the 10,000 kampong people in West Johore for UEM’s Second Link and new township project could not be challenged in a court of law.
Under the NEP and NDP, government entities and contracts are not only privatized to UMNO companies and individuals, but laws are changed at will to enable the UMNO companies and individuals to ride roughshod over the people’s rights, objections and grievances to serve their boundless corporation greed and appetities.
Money Politics is the greatest scandal of NEP and NDP
The tenth scandal I want to touch on is the greatest scandal of NEP and NDP, and this is money politics in Malaysia.
It has been rightly pointed out that most Malaysians are not aware that the ruling parties’ involvement in business is quite particular to this country. Comparative studies would show that while the general norm is for powerful business organizations to influence or even control politics, or alternatively for governments to control business either directly or indirectly. Malaysia is one of the few countries where the ruling parties own such a wide range of business interests.
The outcome of such political patronage has been the creation of huge business conglomerates, the most recent being Renong Bhd which provides the ruling political parties with a vast economic base to be tapped for election funds or for dispensing other forms of patronage.
This corruption relationship between business and politics was best described by the MIC President in June 1986 when he said that “business and politics cannot be separated and treated as different entities”. He said that in the past, business was business and politics was politics.
Datuk Samy Vellu said: “Now, they are interwoven. If there is no political influence, even a company with a paid-up capital of as much as $200 million will not be able to make 20 cents”.
How right and prescient he was, though he did not say that with political influence, a $2 company could make hundred and thousands of millions of ringgit as is the special legacy of the NEP.
DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Money Politics in Malaysia
DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Money Politics in Malaysia to clean up the corrupting influence of deep incestuous business-political relationship in Malaysia and for the development of all business interests by political parties.
I know that following the deregistration of UMNO, and through the use of proxies to acquirely illegally old UMNP properties and assets from the Official Assignee, UMNO Baru leaders may claim that the Party is now not directly involved in business.
In January this year, Renong Bhd. executive chairman Datuk Halim Saad informed the company that he has 220,410,909 shares in the company registered under his own name as at November 28, 1990, in addition to interests in another 476,739,620 shares.
Does those shares worth over a billion ringgit belong to Halim Saad personally – and if so, how did the corporate services manager for Daim Zainuddin in Peremba shoot up to the billion-ringgit bracket in 10 years?
Halim’s meteoric rise surely merit a special investigation by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Money Politics in Malaysia.
I do not think all the UMNO Baru leaders, including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, would be able to have peace of mind and sleep soundly at night if Halim Saad is the real owner of the hundreds of millions of Renong shares.
The Ten Scandals ushering in the Sixth Malaysia Plan
With these ten scandals ushering in the Sixth Malaysia Plan, Malaysians cannot expect higher moral and ethical standards from our political leaders in government.
This is the real reason why although two Ministers, five Deputy Ministers, two Parliamentary Secretaries and eight MPs supported the proposal for a Royal Commission to monitor the implementation of the NDP when they were in the NECC, they have to oppose the same proposal in the Dewan Rakyat when the DAP formally tabled the proposal, because political and financial scandals have become inextricably woven into the fabric of the NDP and the Barisan Nasional political leadership.
First OPP and NEP had failed in its target to reduce the rate of unemployment from 7.4% in 1970 to 3.4% in 1990
When reading the Sixth Malaysia Plan, I am struck by the fact that like the Second OPP and the NDP, it did not want to admit that it had failed in one of its declared objectives under the New Economic Policy, which is to reduce unemployment rate from 7.4% in 1970 to 3.6% in 1990.
The unemployment rate in 1990 stood at 6%, and the Sixth Malaysia Plan estimates that it would decline to about 4.5 per cent by 1995.
I am also struck by the refusal of the Sixth Malaysia Plan to deal with specifies with regard to distributional objectives thought it conceded that during the Fifth Plan period, “Although the socio-economic positions of all communities have improved, the position of certain groups within the Bumiputera community, such as orang asli and the indigenous groups in Sabah and Sarawak, and the Indians within the non-Bumiputera community have lagged behind.”
DAP calls on the Government to draw up a special plan to ensures that the Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli are not left behind by the mainstream of national development
One reason why the Ibans in Sarawak and the Kadazans in Sabah feel so alienated from the national integration process is that their developmental rights had been ignored and neglected.
Every day over the television, radio and mass media, they read and hear of the great strides being made by bumiputras, in the economic, educational and social fields, of how from 1970 to 1990, bumiputera architects have increased by 1,500 per cent, bumiputera engineers by over 10,000 per cent, bumiputera dentists by 2,000 per cent. The Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli are entitled to know how many of their children have benefited from the New Economic Policy in the past 20 years, and can expect to benefit from the National Development Policy in the next 10 years.
The Barisan Nasional government is in fact very reluctant to release separate figures and statistics to demonstrate the level of educational and socio-economic position of the Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli.
The DAP calls on the Barisan Nasional government to draw up a special plan to ensure that the Ibans, Kadazans and the Orang Asli are not left behind in the mainstream of national development. Separate figures to demonstrate the educational and socio-economic position of the Ibans, Kadazans and Orang Asli should be provided in all future government documents, starting with the SMP Mid-Term Review.
Sixth Malaysia Plan planning for Kelantan’s even greater economic backwardness in 1995
I am shocked to read in the Sixth Malaysia Plan that the Barisan Nasional is planning for Kelantan’s evem greater economic backwardness for the next five years.
Kelantan’s GDP per capita was 0.47 of the national average in 1970, and the target of the 20-year NEP and First OPP was to lift Kelantan’s standard of living so that by 1990, the state GDP per capita would have improved to 0.68 of the national average.
This the First OPP and the NEP failed, for by 1990, Kelantan’s GDP per capita fell even lower to 0.40 of the national average.
The full blame and responsibility for Kelantan’s economic backwardness must fall on the Barisan Nasional, for from 1974 to 1990, Kelantan was under the rule of the Barisan Nasional (as PAS joined the Barisan Nasional coalition fro 1974-1977).
What is shocking is that there is no effort o raise Kelantan’s economic position vis-à-vis the other states, or the national average. On the other hand, the Sixth Malaysia Plan’s target for Kelantan’s GDP as a proportion of the national average is even lower – 0.39 of the national average!
How can the Second OPP, NDP and the Sixth Malaysia Plan talk about redressing regional imbalances, when the Barisan Nasional Government is actually planning for Kelantan to be even more backward when compared to the other states and the national average in the next five years?
The DAP is also very concerned about the deterioration of the per capita GDP as a proportion of the national average of three other states in 1995, namely Perak from 0.69 of the national average in 1990 to 0.66; Trengganu from 1.62 of the national average to 1.39, and Sabah from 1.02 to 0.93.
I want to ask point-blank whether the Barisan Nasional is seeking to strangle Kelantan and Sabah’s development, purely because of political differences, and if not, why no special effort is made to declare these two states, together with backward states like Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak as special development areas.
The 30% bumiputra equity target remains an integral part of the NDP
The Second OPP and the NDP had given the impression that the NEP target of 30 per cent bumiputra equity ownership had been abandoned. This is not the case, as is made very clear by the Sixth Malaysia Plan, which said:
“In the restructuring of the corporate sector, the target of at least 30 per cent Bumiputera participation will continue to guide the formulation of strategies and programmes during the period. However, the government recognizes that the achievement of this target needs to be given time as it involves the mobilization of a large amount of savings among Bumiputera and requires the availability of Bumiputera entrepreneurs to effectively participate in the modern sectors of the economy. Therefore, under the NDP no specific time frame has been set for the attainment of the equity restructuring target of at least 30 per cent.”
The 30% bumiputra equity target therefore remains an integral part of the NDP.
The Government has given completely misleading figures of Malaysian Chinese corporate stake being 44.9 per cent in 1990
The Government has given completely misleading figures about the corporate ownership of the various ethic groups. Table 4-1 of the Second OPP 1991-2000, for instance, gives the Bumiputera share of corporate equity in 1990 as 20.3% while under the non-Bumiputera category, the Chinese share in the corporate stake is given as 44.9 per cent with the Indians having one per cent.
The Mid-Term Review of the Fifth Malaysia Plan tabled in Parliament only two years ago in June 1989 put the Chinese corporate stake as 32.6 per cent, and expects its to stand at 32.5 per cent in 1990. I call on the Prime Minister to explain how the Malaysian Chinese stake in the corporate sector could jump 12.4 percentage points in one short year?
This is a classic case of the government juggling with the figures to suit its purpose.
A study of Jadual 3-12 of the Mid-Term Review of the Fifth Malaysia Plan will show how the Malaysian Chinese corporate stake had been artificially inflated by 12.4 percentage points in the Second Outline Perspective Plan.
A comparison of the FMP Mid-Term Review (Jadual 2-3) and the Second OPP (Table 4-1) shows the following glaring discrepancy:
Ownership of Share Capital (At Par Value) of Limited Companies (in percentages)
June 1989 EMP Mid-term Review June 1991 Second OPP June 1991 Second OPP
Ownership Group 1988 1990 1990
Bumiputera individuals 13 13.6 14
Trust Agencies 6.4 6.0 6.3
Chinese 32.6 32.5 44.9
Indians 1.2 1.2 1.0
Others 1.0 0.9 0.3
Foreigners 24.6 23.7 25.1
We can see from the above comparative tables that the Chinese share has made the phenomenal jump from the estimated 32.5 per cent as given by the FMP Mid-Term Review in June 1989 to 44.9 per cent one year later in 1990, according to the Second OPP.
This is clearly impossible.
The reason for this statistical sleight –of-hand is obvious as a further comparative study of the two tables in the Mid-Term Review and the Second OPP will show.
The FMP Mid-Term Review treated the two groups of nominee companies and LCCs separately from the ethnic groupings, as follows:
June 1989 FMP Mid-Term Review June 1991 Second OPP
1988 1990 1990
Nominee companies 8.1 8.5 8.4
Companies 13.1 13.6 –
The Second OPP, however, dumped the 14 per cent corporate stake held by Locally Controlled Companies (LCC) as belonging to the Chinese causing the Chinese stake to jump from 32.6 per cent share of corporate equity in 1988 to 44.9 per cent stake two years later in 1990!
Locally Controlled Companies have been defined by the Mid-Term Review as “the total value of share capital or Limited companies whose ownership cannot be disaggregated farther and assigned, beyond the second level of ownership, to specific ethnic groups. “-“ Syarikat-syarikat berhad yang hakmiliknya tidak dapat dipecah dan dibahagikan selepas peringkai kedua kepada kumpulan-kumpulan etnik tertentu”.
Bumiputera stake in corporate equity in 1990 could be well over 35 per cent and not the 20.3 per cent as claimed by Second OPP
By its definition, the LCCs, which is estimated by the Mid-Term Review to represent 13.6 per cent of the corporate equity in 1990, could be owned not only by Chinese, but also by the Malays. Why has the Prime Minister taken the policy decision to dump all the 13.6 equity stake of LCCs on the Chinese?
If the Locally Controlled Companies had been treated as a separate category, then the Chinese state in the corporate equity in 1990 would be 31.3 per cent and not 44.9 per cent as given by the Second OPP.
I regard the attempt to artificially inflate the corporate stake of the Chinese by 13.6 per cent as most irresponsible.
The rise of nominee companies and LCCs in the corporate equity stake in Malaysia is a special phenomenon of the New Economic Policy associated with money politics, where important Barisan Nasional, and in particular UMNO leaders, used nominees and proxies in their forays, raids and depredations in the corporate world.
In 1970, nominee companies and LCCs represent only 6 per cent of the total corporate equity, but this has shot up to a hefty 22 per cent by 1990 (made up of 8.4 for nominee companies and 13.6 per cent for LCCs).
Who are the real owners of the 22 per cent of corporate share represented by nominee companies and LCCs?
It would be very safe to guess that the bulk of the nominee companies and LCCs are owned by UMNO leaders and their associations, which means that if they are broken down into their ethnic groupings, the bulk of this 22% equity stake should be added to the bumiputra equity stake of 20.3 per cent. This means that the bumiputera corporate equity stake by 1990 could be well over 35% in 1990, and not the 20.3 per cent as claimed by the Second OPP.
I call on the Prime Minister to issue a formal amendment to the Second OPP and the Sixth Malaysia Plan to correct the misleading figures on the corporate equity stake for the different ethnic groupings for 1990, so that they will not be used by irresponsible political leaders, especially from UMNO, for narrow political and communal gain in future.
The administrative practice insisting companies that have complied with the 30 per cent bumiputera share target to top up further their bumiputera shareholdings if the bumiputeras have sold off their initial allocation is most unfair.
A public company which had complied with the 30 per cent restructuring target should not be required to perpetually fulfill the 30 per cent target, especially when the bumiputeras allocated the shares cheap sell them off on the market to get rich quick’.
In fact, in assessing the bumiputera stake in the corporate equity, consideration must be given to the disposal of the shares by bumiputeras during this period as well.
Call on the Government to present a Public Sector Restructuring Action Plan to multi-racialise the public sector in next five years.
Following up on the Second OPP, the Sixth Malaysia Plan said that there will be “a better representation of the non-Bumiputera in the public sector appointments, such as in the middle and senior levels of the civil service.” (Para 1.66)
But this commitment to restructure the public sector does not seem to be that unqualified, as it seems to be conditioned on the ethnic structure of employment in the private sector.
It would be meaningless for the Government to talk about restructuring of the public sector, if it is in fact preparing for an escape route to justify its non-implementation for the next five years.
It must be recognized by all that the private sector has a much more multi-ethnic composition in its work force than in the Government.
The backbone of the Civil Service, i.e. PTD (Pegawai Pentadbiran dan Diplomatik), is mainly Malay. The professional Department used to be largely non-Malay, but this has also changed.
The private sector used to be primarily non-Malay but is now much more multi-ethnic and is becoming increasingly ethnically-balanced as more qualified Malay graduates get into the market.
The urgent need to restructure the public sector could be seen by the very unbalanced ethnic composition in the following public bodies, given for the year 1985:
Jumlah Pekerja %Bumiputera Semua Pekerja
1. MARA 1,403 94.1
2. UDA 492 84.6
3. LPN 1,431 92.5
4. PKEN Perak 73 97.3
5. PKEN Selangor 2,120 68.5
6. PKEN N.Sembilan 60 98.3
7. PKEN Melaka 43 90.7
8. PKEN Johor 186 98.7
9. PKEN Pahang 103 100.0
It is the government that must come out with specific strategies to introduce better ethnic balance in the Civil Service.
Just as the Government has a Privalisation Action Plan, it should also come out with a Public Sector Restructuring Action Plan on how it proposes to multi-racialise the public sector in the next five years.
The Government should give this matter the most serious priority and importance, and at every Budget presentation, the Finance Minister should submit a report to Parliament on the progress of the Public Sector Restructuring Action Plan.
DAP calls for the doubling of the number of universities in Malaysia
From the Second OPP and Sixth Malaysia Plan, the Government has shown a greater awareness of the importance of human resources development as the most critical factor for national development, and we find that some of the proposals that the DAP had been making in Parliament since the 1970s are at last being accepted as good for the nation.
For instance, the Sixth Malaysia Plan is now talking about accelerating the development of post-secondary education in Malaysia “in order to save and at the same time, earn foreign exchange.” (Para 1.85)
If the Barisan Nasional leaders had been more rational and far-sighted and listened to the DAP, such a policy would have been implemented over a decade ago and Malaysia will not be losing $1.5 to $2 billion a year in foreign exchange because Malaysians had to go overseas for tertiary education denied them at home.
Dr. Mahathir was very proud yesterday that Malaysia had almost reached developed country status, but he does not seem to be aware that in an important socio-economic indicator, namely the percentage of Malaysians in the age group (20-24 years) enrolled in domestic tertiary education, Malaysia trailed behind not only all developed countries but behind the other ASEAN nations as well.
This is illustrated by a selective comparison of the percentage of age group (20-24 years) enrolled in domestic tertiary education in 1985 for the following countries for the year 1985;
United States 57 per cent
United Kingdom 22
New Zealand 35
Hong Kong 13
Compared to Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Korea, the Malaysian Government has a lower provision for domestic tertiary education.
The high costs of tertiary foreign tertiary education for Malaysian students, which come to $1.5 to $2 billion a year, are enough to finance more than twice the number of local universities and colleges in Malaysia.
The number of Malaysians in overseas tertiary educational institutions have dropped from 60,000 in 1985 to 52,000 in 1990 because of higher fees imposed by overseas institutions, and the DAP called for the doubling of the number of local universities to meet the demand for higher education among young Malaysians in their own country.
Why no reference to Open University in Sixth Malaysia Plan
I am very disappointed that there is no reference whatsoever to the Open University in the Sixth Malaysian Plan. The DAP has been calling for the establishment of an Open University since the 1970s not only to widen access to higher education opportunities, but to meet the challenges of a technological era by introducing a learning society guided by the idea of life-long education where learning society guided by the idea of life-long education where every individual is in a position to keep learning throughout his life.
But the government is still very behind-times and does not seem ready to take the first steps to establish such an Open University. I will like to know what is holding the government back from proceeding full-steam to establish an Open University in Malaysia.
Government must not allow the extremist thinking of the Ibrahim Saads to block the provision of quality education to Malaysians
The Fifth Malaysia Plan saw the full implementation of the New Primary School Curriculum (KBSR) with the first administration of the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) in 1988.
When the 3M pilot project was introduced in 1982, parents were promised that this was the manic curriculum which would ensure that all school children will master the 3Rs – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.
The results have proved otherwise, and after the KBSR, large number of students are still without the 3Rs. The Government however always have a ready reason for its failure – that the KBSR required smaller class size of 35 children for it to be really effective.
The Sixth Malaysia Plan says that to ensure quality education, the period for completing the primary school syllabus is being reviewed so that it can be completed between five to seven years.
I find this announcement shocking. When the 3M system was introduced in 1982, parents were told that the KBSR is a superior system because it allows for the pupils to learn at their own pace – and that the primary schools system would become more flexible in that the fast learners could complete the KBSR in five years while the slower learners can take up to seven years.
Why was this feature not incorporated into the KBSR right from the beginning in 1983 when it was formally introduced to all primary schools?
The reason was very simple. At that time, there were extremists including self-professed educationists who were budding politicians who saw everything in communal terms who objected to the implementation of such a flexible KBSR to provide for quality education, on the ground that this would not benefit the Malay students.
Those who led such opposition included the present Penang Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Saad, who was then an education lecturer with the University Kebangsaan.
The DAP calls on the Government not to allow the extremist thinking of the Ibrahim Saads, which had blocked the provision of quality education for Malaysian pupils for a decade, from continuing to stunt the growth of new generation of Malaysians.
DAP welcomes introduction of pre-school education for all school children by 1995
I want to laud the Government for introducing pre-school education for all school children by 1995. It has taken the government over a decade to accept a proposal I made in this House during the debate on my motion on the Mahathir Cabinet Committee Report on Education.
I had in June 1980 formally proposed the introduction of a national system of education for pre-school age children on two grounds:
Firstly, educational investment in the very early year yields the largest dividends in developing talent, skills, perceptivity and creativity as well as in encouraging independence and self-discipline.
Secondly, the provision of learning facilities for children of pre-school age of socially deprived classes will go a long way to rectify social injustices.
This is one of the many proofs, if proof is needed, that the DAP does not oppose for the sake of opposition, and is often ahead of the times – and definitely ahead of the Barisan Nasional in terms of the socio-economic and political needs of the people of Malaysia!
Call on Dr. Mahathir to abandon the ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ attitude and launch a high-powered campaign to lure back Malaysians who have emigrated abroad
If the Government is serious about the critical importance of human resources to Malaysia’s development, then I would also call on him to abandon the ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ attitude and launch a high-powered campaign to lure back Malaysians who have emigrated abroad who can contribute to Malaysia’s development with their brains, creativity, energy and talents.
I had specifically made this call during the debate on the Mid-Term Review of the Fifth Malaysia Plan in June 1989, but it had fallen on deaf ears.
I hope that the conditions are now more receptive to this proposal. South Korea and Taiwan had successfully lured back scientists, engineers and technologists who are regarded as ‘precious resource’ and not ‘bad rubbish’ – and which had been an important factor for the cutting edge in the national competitive advantages they had created and sustained in facing the challenges arising from the globalization of the world economy.
DAP calls on the Government to slash Sixth Malaysia Plan security expenditures by over 50 per cent and concentrate on socio-economic development
The DAP views with consternation the proposal to double the percentage of development expenditures in the Sixth Malaysia Plan for security and defence purposes as compared to the Fifth Malaysia Plan.
Security will take up 15 per cent of the total Federal government development allocations or $8,408 million under the Sixth Malaysia Plan, s compared to 7.2 per cent or $2,527 million under the Fifth Malaysia Plan.
The Malaysian government signed the peace accord with the Communist Party of Malaya in Haadyai in December 1989 for the end of the 41-year CPM armed insurrection.
Malaysians are entitled to look forward to a ‘peace dividend’ from the Haadyai agreement, where the government would divert more resources for the socio-economic development of the country.
However, the opposite seems to be the case with the nearly four-fold increase for defence development expenditures under the Sixth Malaysia Plan.
The DAP supports the $817 million provision for the armed forces, and $615 million for housing projects for the police personnel.
Apart from these two items, the DAP called for the slashing of the Sixth Malaysia Plan defence development expenditures by over 50 per cent, so that more money could be channeled for socio-economic development purposes.
The so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia should be buried once and for all, if the Government cannot issue White Paper to produce the proof
In this connection, I will like to call on the Police to stay clear of political entanglements and involvements, like the so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia. This is a political weapon used by the Barisan Nasional in their political warfare with the PBS, and the Police should stay out of it altogether.
I am very concerned at reports that the Police had been picking up several people, in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, for interrogation allegedly over the so-called plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia.
Today is the 59th day of the detention of Dr. Jeffery Kitingan, and I call on the Police to release him immediately as the Police had failed to produce one iota of evidence of the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, although the highest police officers had publicly talked about it for over a year.
If the Government is unable to issue a White Paper to convince Malaysians that there was indeed such a plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia, this issue should be buried once and for all.
Call on Malaysia and Australian Governments to repair their strained relationship through diplomatic channels for the good of both countries
Finally, I wish to cal on the Malaysian and Australian Governments to repair their strained relationship for the good of both countries.
Malaysia will have to play an increasingly active role in the international area with the globalization of the world economy and an increasingly shrinking planet-Earth as a result of modern science and technology.
There is no reason why bilateral government differences between Malaysia and Australia cannot be resolved amicably through normal diplomatic channels, instead of conducting a public brawl like a schoolboys’ quarrel.
I am sure that the ordinary people of both Malaysia and Australia are concerned about the worsening relationships between the government leaders of both countries and want the friendly people-to-people relationship to be maintained.
If the government leaders can reduce their public truculence against each other, this will go a long way to repair the relationship of the two governments.
Maybe the Malaysian and Australian Parliaments can also contribute something in this direction by exchanging goodwill parliamentary visits to each other.