Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Penang DAP Ceramah at the Penang Chinese Town Hall on Tuesday, February 1, 1994 at 7.30 p.m.
DAP calls for the convening of an emergency meeting of Parliamentary to demand that Australian Government give full details about the preposterous allegation that Australian spies had bribed opposition politicians and MPs.
There have been two types of reactions in the past week in Malaysia to the preposterous and unsubstantiated allegation in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph report that Australian spies had bribed Opposition politicians and MPs.
The first type of reaction is the responsible and mature reaction which regards the allegation if true as most serious, not only because it is an act of treason for any political leader to be an agent of foreign spies, but also because this constitutes an unwarranted interference in the domestic political affairs of Malaysia by a foreign government.
However, the responsible and mature reaction recognises that the allegation is completely unsubstantiated, does not name the ex-ASIS field agent who made it, or the Opposition politicians and MPs alleged to have been bribed by Australian spies, whether the Opposition politicians concerned are still MPs today or not, or when the alleged bribery took place – whether now, five years or ten years ago.
The common stand of such responsible and mature reaction is to demand that the Australian Government must declare its stand on the allegation so that it would not strain bilateral relations between both countries, by producing the names and proof of the Opposition politicians and MPs alleged to have been bribed by Australian spies, or to deny the allegation and to tender a public apology.
The second type of reaction is most irresponsible, opportunistic and unprincipled, which is not interested in the truth or falsity of the allegation, but only wants to make maximum political capital of the allegation to hit out against the Opposition.
This type of reaction is not interested that the Sydney Sunday Telegraph is unsubstantiated, nor is it interested in a full investigation to find out the truth. All it wants is to accept the Sydney Sunday Telegraph report as ‘gospel truth’ and even point the finger at the present Oppositions leaders as the ‘traitors’ and to demand Government action against them.
This type of irresponsible, opportunistic and unprincipled reaction also seeks to influence the people into believing that the Sydney Sunday Telegraph report must be believed as it Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) when it was in fact made by unnamed ex-ASIS secret agents; that the bribes involved ‘tens of millions’ of dollars (which is the special column heading of one newspapers) when the sum mentioned was ‘tens of thousands of dollars’!
The worst example of this type of irresponsible, opportunistic and unprincipled reaction is provided by Gerakan leaders leaders, whether its President, Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon or the Gerakan propaganda chief, Dr. Kang Chin Seng.
These Gerakan leaders have no concept of right and wrong, no interest to differentiate between truths and lies, and have no idea of what is national honour or national insult. They want only to ‘play politics’ and are only preoccupied with how to make use of unsubstantiated allegation to throw mud at the Opposition – in this case the DAP.
They could even pile lies on lies, with Keng Yaik claiming that the DAP always had more money than the Barisan Nasional during general elections, and Tsu Koon alleging that not only foreign government agencies but foreign mass media also bribe Opposition politicians!
DAP challenge to Keng Yaik: All political leaders, the Barisan Nasional as well as the Opposition, to publicly declare their assets within one month.
I want to throw Keng Yaik a challenge – that all political leaders, the Barisan Nasional as well as the Opposition parties, should publicly declare their assets within a month and those who could not explain they have derived their income from legal and honest means should resign from all government and political positions.
Is Keng Yaik prepared to accept this challenge on behalf himself and the Gerakan, and undertake to get the other Barisan Nasional component parties to accept this challenge?
I had said in Parliamentary in December 1990 that the Barisan Nasional was estimated to have spent RM300 million in the 1990 general elections. During the UMNO party elections last year, when the politics of money was most rife, it had been estimated that as much as RM500 million had been spent.
At this rate, the Barisan Nasional would spend no less than RM500 million in the next general elections.
Is Keng Yaik suggesting that the DAP had spent more than RM300 million in the 1990 general elections and would spend more than RM500 million in the next general elections?
If Keng Yaik believes in his claim that the DAP always had more money than the Barisan Nasional during general elections, is he suggesting that the DAP must have spent more than RM300 million in the 1990 general elections and would spend more than RM500 million in the next general elections.
If this is the case, then Keng Yaik should have no difficulty in getting all the leaders in the Barisan Nasional to accept the DAP challenge, for this would be a golden opportunity for them to expose the alleged ‘extraodinary wealth’ of DAP leaders.
If Keng Yaik and the Barisan Nasional leaders dare not accept the DAP challenge, is it because such a public declaration of assets would end up in exposing the ‘extraodinary wealth’ of the Barisan Nasional leaders which have hitherto been hidden from public view and scrutiny?
I am giving Keng Yaik 72 hours to accept this challenge, so let the people see whether the Gerakan President is serious about his statements, or whether he is nothing but a ‘foolish doctor’ who could blabber all sorts of falsehoods if it suits his political purpose.
The DAP will continue to take a responsible and mature attitude to the preposterous and unsubstantiated allegation that Australian spies had bribed Malaysian Opposition politicians and MPs.
This is a matter which not only concern the credibility of Opposition politicians, but also that of the Malaysian Parliament as well as the whole country.
Will Keng Yaik and Gerakan support the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry to go to Australian to investigate the allegation?
For this reason, DAP calls for the convening of an emergency meeting of Parliament to demand that the Australian Government give full details about the allegation that Australian spies had bribed Opposition politicians and MPs in Malaysia, failing which the Australian Government should apologise for the preposterous report which had tarnished the image of the Malaysian Parliament and nation.
The emergency meeting of Parliament should also resolve to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the allegation and give the mandate to this Parliamentary Inquiry Committee to exhaust all avenues to investigate the matter, including going to Australia to hear the testimony of ASIS agents and former agents who had operated in Malaysia and alleged to have recruited and bribed Opposition politicians and MPs.
Is Keng Yaik and the Gerakan MPs prepared to support the convening of an emergency meeting of Parliament to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the Sydney Sunday Telegraph allegation?
Or are Gerakan leaders not interested in any investigation to get into the bottom of the matter, but only in ‘politicising’ the issue to tell lies about the DAP?