Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, at the opening of the Salangor DAP State Convention held in Klang on Sunday, 28th August 1994 at 10 am
Rahim Tamby Cik, Liong Sik and S.Samy Vellu are the products and symbols of 20 years of Barisan Nasional rule in Malaysia – making mockery of the principles of accountability, integrity and morality
Last Wednesday, the Barisan Nasional celebrated its 20th anniversary with a public rally at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.
In his speech, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, gave a glowing picture of the achievements of the Barisan Nasional in the last two decades.
The country has indeed achieved development and economic success in the past two decades, but three fundamental questions could be raised about the development and economic progress in Malaysia, namely:
*Firstly, why Malaysia missed the opportunity and challenge to be the first ‘little tiger’ when Malaya had the highest economic standards in Asia after Japan when we achieved Merdeka in 1957;
*Secondly, who can claim greater credit for the development and economic progress in the country – the government or the people? The Japanese example has shown that the Japanese economic miracle was achieved despite the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and not because of the LDP;
*Thirdly, has the development and economic progress in Malaysia been equitably spread out among all Malaysians, particularly the poor and low-income brackets.
The economic and development dimension, however, is not the only yardstick to assess the success or otherwise of the Barisan Nasional experiment in the last two decades.
Equally important are the other aspects of nation-building, like the rule of law, human rights, democracy, freedon of religion, a clean, honest and accountable government, the environment, education and most important of all for Malaysia, the promotion of a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious identity.
There are many ways to look at the record of the Barisan Nasional government in the past two decades.
Rahim Tamby Cik, Ling Liong Sik and Samy Vellu for instance are the products and symbols of 20 years of Barisan Nasional rule – making a complete mockery of the principles of accountability, integrity and morality in Government.
How can the Barisan Nasional claims to be a clean, honest and moral government when the Anti-corruption Agency is unable to take action against the Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Cik, although the national DAPSY Chairman and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guanh Eng, has proved beyond a shodow of doubt that Rahim Tamby Cik had accumulated extraordinary and indecent fortunes during the period he was Malacca Chief Minister?
What is more, how could such a person with such a record – to the extent that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed had to announce that the government was investigation into allegations that he had an affair with a 15-year-old schoolgirl – become UMNO Youth Leader?
If there had been a re-wiring of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 1992, how could there be a Subang radar station fire caused by a ‘short circuit’?
How can the Barisan Nasional talk about an effective, competent, trustworthy and accountable administration and exhort Malaysians to ‘Look East’ when the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, could continue as Transport Minister after qualifying to enter into the Guiness Book of Records in being the only Transport Minister in the world who has three International Airport fires in two years?
Liong Sik had attributed the cause of the Subang radar station fire on April 13 to a short circuit in the air-conditioning system and the failure of the fire detection and suppression systems to put out the fire automatically.
How could a ‘short-circuit’ again be the cause of the third Subang International Airport fire in two years?
Immediately after the Kuala Lumpur International Airport control tower fire on 16th October, 1992, the Prime Minister, who was then in Hong Kong, announced that the Government wanted the wiring system in all important buildings to be re-inspected if the Subang airport control tower fire was caused by a short-circuit.
A week later, Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik announced that electrical wiring which had been identified as the cause of the April 6 fire at Terminal One of the KLIA would be replaced by the end of 1992.
He said the re-wiring was not scheduled for another three years but he agreed with the Deparetment of Civil Aviation to carry out the exercise in the wake of the April 6 fire caused by a short-circuit.
If there had been a re-wiring of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by the end of 1992, how could there be another fire caused by a ‘short circuit’ on August 13 this year?
Had the re-wiring of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport be properly carried out?
Liong Sik’s gross incompetence as Transport Minister is further underlined by the following three factors:
*his attempt to ‘cover-up’ the Subang radar station fire for 60 hours;