by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP’ Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, on Friday, February 25, 1994:
The imposition of sanctions by the Malaysian Government against the United Kingdom uncalled for and unjustifiable when the Malaysian Government had not even lodged a formal protest to the Australian Government for its espionage activities in Malaysia
The imposition of sanctions by the Malaysian Government against the United Kingdom because of allegations and reve¬lations in the British mass media in the past two months about corruption, bribery and improprieties in business deals involving the Governments, Ministers and political leaders in the UK and Malaysia is uncalled for and unjustifiable.
The imposition of sanctions announced by the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,, today against the British is different from the last time the Malaysian Government announced a ‘Buy British Last’ policy against the British Government because of its insensitivity to Malaysians over the indiscriminate increase of university fees imposing great hardships on Malaysian students in UK. The situation would be very different if trade sanctions are imposed over Malaysia’s disagreement with the British Government on important issues, like the West’s hypocrisy over the Bosnian Holocaust.
The inappropriateness of the present action by the Malaysian Government becomes even more pronounced when it is noted that the Malaysian. Government has not lodged a formal protest to the Australian Government for its espionage activities in Malaysia, particularly with regard to the Canberra Times report on February 3 alleging that it is not Malaysian opposition politicians, but government and UMNO politicians who had been receiving bribes from Australian secret, service agents until four years ago.
The numerous allegations and revelations about corruption, bribery and improprieties involving the Malaysian and British Government leaders are matters of grave public concern.
What Malaysians want to know is the truth of these allegations, revolving round what has been described by the UK mass media as the ‘arms for aid’ scandal, and allegations about corruption, bribery and improprieties that have surfaced in the British mass media or in British Parliament include business deals like:
the RM5 billion Malaysian purchase of British arms;
the RM1.8 billion Pergau hydroelectric dam project;
the Tenaga Nasional privatisation and floating of Tenaga shares;
the billion-ringgit Antah-Biwater waterworks project;
the suppression of important documents in the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal by the British Government as a favour to the Malaysian Government;
the payment of bribes to a team of Malaysian politicians in connection with the bid by the giant British construction firm WIMPEY to secure a RM2 billion aluminium smelter contract.
Without getting to the bottom of these allegations, the imposition of sanctions by the Malaysian Government against United Kingdom smacks of being a ‘self-serving’ and ‘cover-up’ action to escape accountability rather than in the Malaysian national interest to protect the credibility, honour and integri¬ty of Malaysia in the eyes of the world.
DAP calls – for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a public inquiry into all the allegations of corruption, bribery and improprieties involving Malaysian Government and political leaders
For this reason, DAP calls for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct a public inquiry into all the allegations which had surfaced in the British mass media and the British Parliament in the past two months about corruption, bribery and improprieties involving the Malaysian Government and its Ministers so as to clear the Deputation and honour of the Malaysian Government and political leaders who had been named, which included the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, himself.
DAP will support the trade sanctions against UK if there is no basis whatsoever in the allegations of corruption, bribery and improprieties
The DAP will give support to the Malaysian Government’s decision to impose sanctions against the UK if we are convinced that there is no basis whatsoever to the numerous allegations of corruption, bribery and improprieties implicating the Malaysian Government and its Ministers.
Unfortunately, the Malaysian Government has not pro¬vided the DAP or the Malaysian people with any information on which we could draw this conclusion.
As Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee-on Parliamentary Honour and National Integrity, I had asked the Prime Minister to make available to the All-Party Committee the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between him and the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1988 on the RM5 billion Malaysian purchase of British arms so as to probe whether it was linked to the Pergau dam project.
The Defence Minister, Datuk Najib Tun Eazak, had however resisted the request to make the MOU public on the ground that it is a classified document, which contains official secrets involving national security.
If the Malaysian Government continues to adopt such an attitude, then it has only itself to blame if the allegations of corruption, bribery and improprieties made against the Malaysian Government, Malaysian Ministers and political leaders cannot be rebutted.
As an alternative to the Royal Commission of Inquiry, the Cabinet can give the fullest co-operation to the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Parliamentary Honour and National Integrity to conduct a full and thorough-going investigation into all the allegations about corruption, bribery and improprieties which had been made in the British mass media and the British Parliament.
The Government should furnish all relevant documents to the All-Party Parliamentary Committee and the Prime Minister as well as other Ministers should appear to give testimony to the All-Party Parliamentary Committee.