Vision 2020 Of Malaysia Being A Developed Nation Will Be Not Succeed If There Is No Clean Government, No Balanced Growth, No Human Resource Development And No Equitable Distribution Of Economic Benefits

- At The Save Bukit Cina 20th Anniversary Dinner
Lim Guan Eng

(Malacca, Sunday): DAPís success in saving Bukit China from being demolished by the then BN and MCA in 1984 shows the importance of preserving important cultural and historical heritage over development projects for the sake of private gain. Both BN and MCA saw only ringgit signs when they proposed leveling the oldest Chinese cemetery in Malaysia to build houses, shophouses and shopping complexes.

Unlike BN and MCA may see ringgit signs in the largest piece of available land in the centre of Melaka town, DAP and the people of Melaka saw 3 important links in preserving Bukit China namely:

  • cultural and historical heritage not only for the Chinese community but also as an important mark of friendship between Chinese and Malays when Princess Hang Li Po married the Melaka Sultan;

  • environment heritage in providing a green lung that made Melaka a more natural and livable area for resident apart from helping to maintaine its historical atmosphere; and

  • an important tourist site that attracted foreign tourists and revenue helping Melakaís economy.

DAP has been proven right and validates the necessity of a strong opposition party to check the excesses and correct the mistakes of the ruling party. The story of Bukit China 20 years ago is also the story of our future 20 years. If not for the DAP, our children and tourists will not have the opportunity to enjoy Bukit China. DAP had much earlier saw the need of balanced growth enjoyed by all not motivated purely by considerations of profit at the expense of national unity and cultural heritage. 

For this reason the story of our next 20 years centres on whether we can check the excesses and correct the mistakes to ensure that Vision 2020 is for all Malaysians not just for the few. Vision 2020 of a developed nation will not succeed if there is no balanced growth, no clean government, no human resource development and no equitable distribution of wealth.


BN Is Only Interested In Creating Millionaires Whilst DAP Wants To Create Wealth Equally For All

Newly-elected UMNO Vice-President and Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam had declared his proudest achievement as Chief Minister is creating 10 bumi millionaires. He even said that creating 10 bumi millionaires is preferable to creating 100 bumis worth RM 100,000. This is the essential difference in economic philosophy between DAP and BN. 

BN is only interested in creating millionaires. DAP is interested in ensuring that everyone can benefit and prosper. DAP would prefer to have 100 Malaysians worth RM100,000/- or 1,000 Malaysians worth RM 10,000/- to just 10 millionaires. Perhaps this is also the reason why of the 84 Datuks awarded by Melaka this year, only 10 were from Melaka. 

But how did Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam create his 10 millionaires? Is it by hard work or by crony capitalism that resulted in expensive public projects and corruption scandals. For instance the Hang Tuah Mall scandal, a water fountain that would not exceed RM 20,000/- was built for RM 240,000/-, 20 rubbish bins were bought at RM 880 when the market price was only RM 80/- and 6 canopies not exceeding RM 10,000 each was built at RM 80,000 each. A clean government is necessary for economic and social justice. 

Where is clean government when the ruling parties do not respect the law they have promised to uphold as shown by the shameful case of BN political parties owing a total of RM 140,828.69 comprising:

  • UMNO Kota Melaka owe 25 years of quit rent since 1979 amounting to RM 30,921.70;

  • UMNO Jasinís building owed 18 years of assessment rates of RM 83,701.15;

  • UMNO Selandar owes 9 years of quit rent since 1995 amounting to RM 25,152.10;

  • UMNO Alor Gajah owed assessment of RM 190-00;  and

  • MCA Alor Gajah owed RM 863.74.

It is indeed shocking how UMNO Kota Melaka can be allowed to owe quit rent for 25 years of RM 83,701.15 and UMNO Jasin allowed to owe cukai pintu for 18 years of RM 83,701.15 without any action taken. In contrast there have been cases where private landowners who owe only 2 years in quit rent have their land confiscated by the state government. UMNO and MCA should be ashamed for not respecting the law even though they are the government. 

Under BN there is no equitable distribution of wealth which has resulted in the United Nations Human Development (UNHDP) Report 2004 showing Malaysia with the worst income disparity between the rich and poor in South East Asia, higher than Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. 

HDI Rank                     Survey Poorest             Poorest Richest             Richest             Richest 10% To

                                    Year     10%                 20%     20%                 10%                 Poorest 10%

59.   Malaysia               1997     1.7                    4.4        54.3                  38.4                  22.1                                                                      

83.   Philippines             2000     2.2                    5.4        52.3                  36.3                  16.5

76.   Thailand                2000     2.5                    6.1        50.0                  33.8                  13.4

25.   Singapore              1998     1.9                    5.0        49.0                  32.8                  17.7

112.  Vietnam               1998     3.6                    8.0        44.5                  29.9                  8.4

111.  Indonesia              2002     3.6                    8.4        43.3                  28.5                  7.8

The richest 20% in Malaysia control more than half or 54.3% of our economic income as compared to the poorest 20% controlling less than 5% at only 4.4 %. Clearly the UNHDP 2004 Report validates DAPís fears that under the BNís crony capitalism, in relative terms the rich has become richer whilst the poor become poorer. The time has come to to move away from Ali Rustamís economic focus away from creating more bumi millionaires to one that creates wealth that can be enjoyed by all Malaysians.


* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General