(Petaling Jaya, Friday): On Monday, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that Malaysia will next week release US$250 million or about RM1 billion being the first instalment of its US$1 billion loan to Indonesia to help overcome the republicís economic problems.
DAP calls for the suspension of the release of the RM1 billion loan aid to Indonesia and for a review as to whether Malaysia is currently in a position to extend US$1 billion loan to Indonesia.
Last weekend, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said in Cairo that Malaysia was prepared "to live in poverty and rebuild our economy" than to appeal for help from the International Monetary Fund.
Is a country whose Prime Minister is talking about the country being reduced to poverty and rebuilding our economy in a position to extend US$1 billion loan to Indonesia, when Malaysians themselves are in dire need of such a loan to save their companies and businesses to stave off bankruptcy?
Furthermore, with the worsening of the political and economic crisis in Indonesia in the past few days, with the Indonesian military shooting and killing student demonstrators as well as the most unfortunate anti-Indonesian Chinese manifestations, what guarantee is there that the RM1 billion loan to be extended by Malaysia would be used productively by the increasingly discredited Suharto regime.
DAP is strongly opposed to any release of RM1 billion loan to Indonesia at this stage, especially if it is going to be used to consolidate the Suharto regime in a repressive crackdown against students, workers and youths demanding for political and economic reforms.
One clear lesson from the Indonesian crisis is that there can be no true economic reforms without sweeping political change, and Malaysia, which is already facing the worst financial crisis in the nationís history, should not extend any loan which would reinforce the system of collusion, corruption and nepotism which has brought so much misery and sufferings to the Indonesian people.