Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for TanJong, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP Ceramah at Meng Seng Charitable Association Hall, Malacca on Tuesday, 29th March 1994 at 8 pm
DAP expects the Government to present a White Paper when Parliament; meets on April 11 to give a detailed rebuttal to all the allegations in the British mass media in the past few months about corruption, abuses of power and improprieties of Malaysian leaders
DAP expects the Government to present a White Paper when Parliament meets on April 11 to give a detailed rebuttal to all the allegations in the British mass media in the past few months about corruption, abuses of power and improprieties of Malaysian leaders.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Ssri Dr, Mahathir Mohamed, has said that London Sunday Times had lied when it accused him of corruption in. its February 20 report that in 1985, the British construction giant, George Wimpey International (GWI), which was bidding to build RM2.5 billion aluminium smelter in Malaysia, had approved US$50,000 initial bribe payment to the Malaysian Prime Minister. The London Sunday Times said there were internal company documents of Wimpey which referred to “the account num¬bers in Switzerland to which fees related to contract award are to be paid.”
Mahathir reacted with indignation to the London Sunday Times report and declared, that he was ‘not so cheap’, and that he had not collected any money and that there was no such aluminium smelter project in Malaysia.
I back Mahathir on this issue, not only because the Malaysian Prime Minister could not be so cheap as to be involved, in a US$50,000 bribery, but also because London. Sunday Times had failed to produce any proof that Mahathir had been involved in the Wimpey bribery case.
This is confirmed later by a clarification by the editor of London Sunday Times, Andrew Neil that his newspaper at no stage had claimed that Mahathir had sought a bribe or was paid one and that its story “had made clear that, in the end, no money changed hands”.
DAP agrees that the London Sunday Times had been irresponsible in not openly apologising for the Wimpey story, for the imputation that Mahathir was corrupt was very-clear from its February 20 report.
Wimpey has also denied that it had paid bribes to Malaysian politicians in 1985 in pursuit of an aluminium smelter project.
Wimpey’s denial has been acknowledged by London Sunday Times in a report on Malaysia in its issue of March 13, although it said that bribery was not paid because the deal fell through and that if deal had gone through, around ten million pound sterling or RM50 million would have been paid in “special pay¬ments” or bribery.
DAP calls on Mahathir to reconsider and institute legal proceedings against London Sunday Times, not only to clear his own personal name but also for the sake of the country’s reputation as he is Malaysia’s Prime Minister
As Mahathir’s case against, London Sunday Times is so clear-cut, he should institute legal proceedings against London Sunday Times to clear his name, reputation and character.
Malaysians cannot understand why Mahathir is reluctant to institute legal proceedings against London Sunday Times.
DAP calls on Mahathir to reconsider and to institute legal proceedings against London Sunday Times not only to clear his own personal name, but also for the sake of the country’s reputation as he is Malaysia’s Prime Minister.
While we deplore the London Sunday Timas allegations against Mahathir in its Wimpey story, Malaysians cannot dismiss all reports and allegations which had appeared in the British mass media in the past few months about corruption, abuses of power and improprieties involving Malaysian leaders, whether as a result of investigative reporting by the British press or the inquiries by House of Common Select Committees.
Malaysians cannot use the Wimpey story of the London Sunday Times to dismiss all other British mass media reports which had raised questions about accountability, transparency and even integrity of Malaysian leaders in various business deals, whether the Pergau dam project or the various Malaysian arms purchases from Britain as a result of the RM5 billion Memorandum of Understanding signed by Dr. Mahathir and former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
The concerns of Malaysians and Malaysian MPs would not be the same as the concerns of the British people and the British MPs, For instance, Malaysians are not concerned as to whether there had been a misuse or even illegal use of the British aids programme as a ‘sweetener’ to get Malaysian contracts for British arms.
All self-respecting Malaysians would be concerned about questions such as:
Why the Pergau hydroelectric dam contract was awarded to Balfour Beatty/Cementation Internation¬al without open tender;
Why Balfour Beatty was allowed to raise the cost of the Pergau project by some 81 million pound sterling clays after the agreement was signed between the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Britain in 1988;
What was the real connection between the RM5 billion arms deal and the Pergau project;
Whether the Malaysian Government had been overcharged, for the various British defence purchases, such as Hawks fighter jets, frigates, radar commu¬nications – even to the extent of double the market price, and why.
Who are the local agents for the British defence deals. The London Sunday Times on March 13 named one of Mahathir’s sons as “a business associate of Tan Sri Arumugam, a close friend of Mahathir, who co-ordinated the 1.3 billion pound sterling defence deal”. Is this true?
Did senior members of Malaysia’s ruling party made huge windfall profits from the privatisation and flotation of Tenaga Nasional shares?
Did the British Government suppress 150 documents during the extradition proceedings against Lorrain Osman in order to help Malaysia in a ‘cover-up’ of the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, as part of the British Government effort to get Malaysia to end its ‘Buy British Last’ campaign?
All these questions cry out for answer and a govern¬ment which is serious about accountability and transparency would furnish the answers to the public. This is why the DAP expects the Barisan Nasional Government to present a White Paper when Parliament meets on April 11 to give a detailed rebuttal to all the allegations in the British mass media in the past few months about corruption, abuses of power and improprieties of Malaysian leaders.
If the Government does not present a White Paper, then the credibility and integrity of the Malaysian Government would be a big question mark, not only inside the country but internationally as well.