DAP submits motion for next month's Parliament on the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into   Cronyism and Nepotism - and calls on the Prime Minister to agree to allocate time for it to be the first item of parliamentary business on July 13


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday):  I have today submitted a  motion for  next monthís Parliament  on the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Cronyism and Nepotism and I  call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to allocate time for it to be the first item of parliamentary business on July 13.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry should specially focus  on the children and associates of all political leaders, whether government or opposition.

My motion reads: "That this House resolves that a Royal Commission of Inquiry into  Cronyism and Nepotism, which should specially focus on the children and associates of all political leaders, whether government or opposition, should be established."

In the  four-day UMNO and UMNO Youth  General Assemblies, corruption, cronyism and nepotism took the centre-stage for the first time in history.

Although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad finally denied that there was KKN in Malaysia - corruption, cronyism and nepotism - his earlier attempts to  give an absurd definition of cronyism and nepotism had seriously undermined national and international confidence in his leadership.

A week before the UMNO General Assembly,  for instance, when in Kuantan, Mahathir said that all who  received benefits from the government are his cronies - claiming that he has millions of cronies in Malaysia.

Such a ridiculous definition can only create public and international suspicion that Mahathir has something to hide.  Mahathir kept to his absurd  redefinition of "cronyism" and "nepotism" in his UMNO presidential address, where the thrust of his speech was not to deny cronyism and nepotism but to warn those in UMNO to "Look at oneself before accusing this and that person as being crony of the leader".

What is even more shocking is that the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik, jumped in immediately to support such an absurd re-definition of "cronyism" - although the Malaysian public are not so stupid as not to know the real reason.

After Mahathirís UMNO Presidential address last Friday, Liong Sik competed with other Barisan Nasional leaders to gush praises for the Prime Ministerís speech. Liong Sik even said that "Cronyism is not a bad word in the Malaysian context", outdoing Mahathir in the absurd  redefinition of the term by implying that while cronyism is bad for other countries, it is good
for Malaysia!

The issue of corruption, cronyism and nepotism cannot and will not end with just bare denials or absurd redefinitions, or Suharto would still be President of Indonesia today.

In calling for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Cronyism and Nepotism, I am not suggest that the public hearingts of these investigations  should be confined to inquiries into Mahathir and his three sons, Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukriz  and other associates, or  only that of the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik and his son, Ling Hee Leong, who have  the dubious distinction of being able to acquire RM1.2 billion corporate stakes in three months at the tender age of 27 years when he had no track record whatsoever in the corporate world, but also into the alleged Lim Kit Siang/Lim Guan Eng nepotism.

 I am prepared to fully co-operate with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Cronyism and  Nepotism to enable it to establish whether there is such a thing as Lim Kit Siang/Lim Guan Eng nepotism.

Are Mahathir, Liong Sik and all Barisan Nasional leaders,  Ministers and MPs  prepared to give the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Cronyism and  Nepotism similar unqualified and fulsome co-operation?  If so, then let them give support to   the DAP motion in Parliament on the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Cronyism and Nepotism and ensure that this motion take precedence over all parliamentary business and will be the first item of parliamentary business when Parliament reconvenes on July 13?

Over the weekend,   Mahathir released lists of companies awarded privatised projects and individuals who got share allocations.

I am reserving comment on the lists until I have the time to study them, but I have five nagging questions:

Firstly, are the lists of companies awarded privatised projects and individuals who got share allocations full and complete or whether there had been omissions.

To ensure that the lists concerned are full and complete, the government should table the full lists concerned in the form of a White Paper when Parliament reconvenes on July 13.

Secondly, are there companies revealed in the lists who are proxies or trustees  of well-known political leaders?

Thirdly, why are the State Governments holding back from making public lists of companies who had been awarded privatised projects.   I would have expected the Penang State Government to be the first state government, in the spirit of "Penang Leads", to make public lists of companies who had been awarded privatised projects whether at state or municipal government level, but there is deafening silence from the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon.

Fourthly, Mahathir has yet to fulfil his promise to release lists of beneficiaries of awards of approved permits (APs) and licences.  Why has the Prime Minister backed down from releasing lists of beneficiaries of awards of approved permits (APs) and licences?

Fifthly, in keeping with the principles of openness, accountability and transparency, are all the Federal Ministries prepared to make public all the companies who have been awarded government contracts?

Finally, I call on the Malaysia mass media, both printed and electronic, to be fair in their reporting. When  Mahathir took advantage of internal DAP allegations of nepotism against me  to again accuse me of nepotism in the case of Lim Guan Eng - hoping to distract national and international attention
about corruption, cronyism and nepotism  in Malaysia, the media gave the most prominent coverage over radio, television and in the newspapers..

But when I rebutted Mahathirís allegation and demanded a full investigation into the business activities of the children and associates of Mahathir, namely Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz Mahathir, my statement was blacked out by the mass media, whether electronic and printed although they know fully well that Guan Eng had never got privatisation contracts, mega-projects, mega-loans or mega-bailouts.

What Guan Eng is getting is 36 monthsí jail for championing the honour, human rights and women rights of a 15-year-old girl against the most mighty, powerful and influential personality in the state, who was none other than the Chief Minister of the Malacca state at the time.

I hope the printed and electronic media will be fairer and be more responsible and honest this time.

(23/6/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong