by Pariiamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday, March 22, 1992:
DAP calls on Anwar Ibrahim to uphold Vision 2020 by extending the $500 million revolving fund for investments to all the 142,000 hard-core poor households and not just to 100,000 hard-core poor bumiputra households.
The DAP is most disappointed the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is not extending the $500 million revolving fund to give interest-free loans for investments to all the hardcore poor regardless of race.
A total of 100,000 hard-core poor bumiputra households will benefit and get interest-free loans of $5,000 to invest in the Amanah Saham Bumiputra (ASB).
At a time when the Government is proclaiming the Vision 2020 and a Bangsa Malaysia, it is most negative and unhealthy to continue to divide Malaysians along racial lines – even separating the hard¬core poor in Malaysia into bumiputras and non-bumiputras. The hardcore poor of all races are already unfortunate enough without intro¬ducing a further discrimination of one against another.
Under the Government’s development programme for hard-core poor – Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT) – 142,000 hard-core poor households of all races had been registered, out of which 106,000 are in Peninsular Malaysia.
The programme defined the hard-core poor as Peninsular Malaysia households with a monthly income
of less than $175, Sarawak households of less than $225 and Sabah households of less than $260.
I do not think the government has a full and comprehensive list of all the hard-core poor households in Malaysia. In any event, DAP calls on the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to extend the $500 million revolving fund, to give interest-free loans for investments, to all the 142,000 hard-core poor households regardless of race. This will work out to each household getting an interest-free loan of $3,500, which will be more fair and equitable and in keeping with the Vision 2020.
DAP is also very surprised that the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders have not supported the DAP’s call
to the Government to Stop discriminating the hard-core poor between bumiputras and non-bumiputras.
This is another proof that finally, the MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers and leaders just look after the interest of party stal¬warts and the wealth and powerful, while completely indifferent to the fundamental rights of ordinary Malaysians – including the hard-core poor of all races.