Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the meeting of MPs from all Political Parties on the allegations that Malaysian MPs had been bribed by Australian spies until four years ago held at the Committee. Room One, Parliament House on Tuesday, 8th February 1994 at 10 a.m.
DAP proposes the formation of a All-Party Parliamentary Standing Committee to defend the honour of Parliament and integrity of Malaysia from foreign media reports
On January 16, 1994, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph carried a report making very serious allegations that MPs who are ‘senior Opposition politicians’ had been bribed by Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agents.
What was most strange was that the Malaysian Government sat on the report for ten days doing nothing, and it was not until January 26 that the matter was. raised in Cabinet and the decision taken to disseminate as widely as possible the allegations in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.
A campaign was also mounted by Cabinet Ministers and the Barisan Nasional component parties demanding investigation, with a few unscrupulous and irresponsible leaders blaming certain Opposition parties and Opposition leaders for treasonous actions in being agents of foreign governments.
Instead of approaching this issue as a grave national issue tarnishing the honour of. Parliament and image of Malaysia, certain Ministers decided to ‘play polities’.
Does Najib want the Opposition to be ‘presumed guilty until proven innocent’, while government politicians to be ‘presumed innocent until proven guilty’ on the bribery allegations
For instance, the Minister for Primary Industries and Gerakan President, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik alleged that the Malaysian Opposition politicians who had been bribed by ASIS agents were from the DAP, giving as proof his further allegation that DAP always had more money than the Barisan Nasionai in general elections!
The Defence Minister and UMNO Vice President, Datuk Najib Tun Razak said that the onus was on members of the opposition parties to prove that they wsre not bankrolled by the Australian secret service.
It would be pertinent to ask whether Najib wants to apply double standards on the bribery allegations, namely that Opposition politicians must be ‘presumed guilty unless proven innocent’ while government politicians must be ‘presumed innocent until proven guilty’?
At the state level, Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik stood out as the two most irresponsible politicians who were more interested in politicising the issue than in finding out the truth.
Then the police also joined in the ‘political game’, with the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ranim Noor, declar ing that preliminary police investigations had found some evidence to back up the claims of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph that opposition politicians had received bribes from Australian Secret Intelligence Service.
The IGP even issued threats to use the Internal Security Act, for which no evidence or investigations are needed to detain Opposition politicians indefinitely without trial:
Then another strange thing happened On February 3, the Canberra Times in its report cleared the Malaysian Opposition of the allegations, stating that it was the government and UMNO politicians – who were ‘oppositionists’ in the ruling parties who had been bribed by ASIS agents until four years ago.
Except for a few Barisan Nasional leaders who appeared to be ‘slower’ on the political uptake and continued to indulge in ‘politicking’ the issue, a bizarre silence descended on the Government, side as if the Canberra Times report had never been published!
Even the Police also stayed away from the press al though the Malaysian public must be wondering what is this ‘preliminary evidence’ it had uncovered which the IGP had said ‘backed up’ the allegations of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.
The last two weeks provided Malaysians with a rare opportunity to judge; from their reactions, who are the Minis¬ters and political leaders who are mature and responsible and who are childish, mischievous and downright vicious.
It is a poor reflection on Malaysian MPs and Ministers if they delay or fail to defend the honour of Parliament and the integrity of the nation
On matters affecting the honour of Parliament and the image and integrity of Malaysia, all Malaysians – especially MPs and Ministers – should rise above all political party differences.
There are four main reasons why this meeting of MPs from all political parties had bean called:
Firstly, the Australian mass media allegations that Malaysian MPs had been bribed by ASIS agents until four years ago is an affront to the honour and credibility of Parliament and the image and integrity of Malaysia, and cannot be left unchallenged unless they are. Substantiated;
Secondly, the allegations, whether true or untrue, constitute an unwarranted interference in the domestic affairs by another country.
Thirdly, Parliament should have convened in an emergency meeting to discuss and decide on the Australian mass media allegations when the Sydney Sunday Telegraph carried the report 23 days ago, as the delay or failure by MPs and Ministers to defend the honour and credibility of the Malaysian Parliament and the image and integrity of the nation is a most adverse reflection on the Malaysian MPs and Ministers;
Fourthly, the need for MPs to meet to discuss and decide on actions to defend the honour and credibility of Parlia¬ment as well as the image and integrity of the nation.
DAP calls for emergency Parliamentary meeting before April 11 meeting of Parliament to debate the Australian allegations
This is why one of my earliest proposals following the Sydney Sunday Telegraph allegations was for the convening of an emergency meeting of Parliament, In view of the gravity and urgency of the issue, MPs cannot wait until the next, meeting of Parliament, which begins on April 11, as this will mean a delay of three months.
The DAP proposes the formation of an All-Party Parliamentary Standing Committee to defend the honour of Parliament and the integrity of Malaysia from foreign media reports.
The first task of this All-Party Parliamentary Standing Committee should be to get to the bottom, of the Australian mass media allegations that Malaysian MPs who were government and UMNO politicians had been bribed by Australian spies until four years ago – to find out the truth or otherwise of the report, to demand action by the Malaysian Parliament and Government, as well as by the Australian Parliament and Government.
Among the actions such an All-Party Parliamentary-Standing Committee could take are:
Requisitioning of an emergency masting of parliament before the next April 11 meeting on the allegations that Malaysian MPs had been bribed by Australian spies until four years ago;
Liaise with the Prime Minister and all relevant government departments, particularly the Police,with regard to actions that could be taken to investigate into the allegations;
Communicate with the Australian Parliament and Australian Government, including visiting Austra¬lia, to impress on them the importance of making full disclosure of ASIS activities and operations in Malaysia and the recruitment and bribery of MPs who were government and UMNO politicians; and
Measures to be taken against MPs who had acted as ‘traitors’ of the country in receiving bribes from foreign secret service intelligence agencies.
The decisions that could be taken by an emergency meeting of Parliament include:
Establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the Australian allegations;
Empowering the All-Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry to go to Australia to collect all available evidence, including taking testimony from the ASIS agents and former agents; and
Formal Communications with Australian Parliament and Australian Government to defend the honour of Parliament and integrity of Malaysia from the Australian alienations; and
Recommendations to Parliament on the measures to be taken if the Australian Government refuses to make its stand on the allegations and make full disclosure of ASIS activities and operations in Malaysia, particularly with regard to recruitment and bribery of Malaysian MPs.
Let all MPs and Ministers, regardless of party affiliation, stand united to defend the honour and credibility of Parliament and the image and integrity of Malaysia.
If Malaysian MPs could stand on a common platform, to defend the honour of Parliament and the integrity of the nation, this is a historic testimony that whatever their political dif ferrences, Malaysian political leaders have become full Malaysian patriots and nationalists 37 years after Merdeka, If Malaysian MPs cannot take a common stand to defend Parliamentary honour and national integrity, then Malaysian MPs have failed as examples of Malaysian patriots and nationalists first and last!