Speech by Lim Guan Eng during the DAP Kuching Branch Dinner on Sunday, 23rd January 2011 at 8 pm:
RM888 billion illicit capital flight from Malaysia between 2000-2008 cost every Malaysian man, woman and child RM33,000 each over 9 years!
RM 888 billion illicit capital flight from Malaysia between 2000-2008 cost every Malaysian man, woman and child RM 33,000 each over 9 years! Whilst our Royal Malaysian Navy commandos are heroes for their successful capture of Somali pirates in international waters recently, DAP regrets that land "pirates" are allowed to roam freely in Malaysia.
The US-based financial watchdog Global Financial integrity (GFI) reported that illicit money outflows from Malaysia tripled to US$68.2 billion (RM208.1 billion) in 2008, from US$22.2 billion in 2000. For the period 2000-2008, the illegal capital flight topped US$291 billion or RM888 billion!
GFI defines illicit financial flows as generally involving the transfer of money earned through illegal activities such as corruption, transactions involving contraband goods, criminal activities, and efforts to shelter wealth from a country's tax authorities. This is a devastating indictment of the lack of enforcement, rule of law and a culture of corruption that has eroded confidence in our capital market.
GFI also pointed out the significant discrimination in labour markets was another factor which moved not only people but also illicit and unrecorded capital out of the country. Since Merdeka BN's discriminatory and extremist policies have resulted in 2 million Malaysians migrating. Sadly, Malaysia's brain drain and loss of human talent has not only dimmed our future but also made all of us poorer.
Malaysians must demand that BN come clean on the scandal of huge illicit money outflows RM888 billion from Malaysia in 9 years from 2000-2008, the 5th highest in the world amongst developing countries. How much of this RM888 billion illicit money outflows are from Sarawak?
GFI proposes increasing transparency as critical to reducing the outflow of illicit money from developing countries. This is in line with Penang state government's CAT governance of Competency, Accountability and Transparency, which has resulted in Penang being commended by the Auditor-General's Report as the best financially managed state and won praise from Transparency International.
The refusal of BN to come clean will not only cause greater losses in the future, there is a possibility that the country may even go bankrupt by 2019 as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala had warned. RM888 billion in only 9 years is a huge sum by any measure, and more than four times our 2011 National Budget. If RM888 billion was given to 27 million Malaysians, each man woman and child would receive nearly 33,000/- each over 9 years.
Any clean and responsible government with integrity would have immediately established a Royal Commission of Inquiry into this RM888 billion illicit capital outflow scandal. However BN's reluctance to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into other scandals such as RM52 billion bumi shares scandal, where Malays/bumis lost RM 52 billion of bumi shares which just "disappeared", leaves Malaysians with no choice but to change the government if we want to unearth the truth and punish the culprits responsible.
RM2 million to create a job in Malaysia?
The BN government recently announced 19 entry point project that will generate RM 67 billion in investments and create 35,000 jobs. In other words, almost RM2 million is required to create a job!
This is ridiculous and must be some sort of perverse record. This only shows the extent of leakages in the economy in the form of inefficiency, wastage and even corruption that can only be overcome with a PR victory in the general elections.
Malaysia has the highest income inequality between the rich and poor in South East Asia. These mega projects of RM2 million for one job has no relevance to the poor in Malaysia. The poorest 40% only own 14.3% of the national income whilst the richest 20% control more than 50% of the national income. The poorest 40% means more than 10 million Malaysians live on average of RM1,500 sebulan.
Clearly it is not PR 100 Day programme that will bankrupt the nation but BN's corruption. Even Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala himself warned of the possibility of Malaysia becoming bankrupt by 2019. The people of Malaysia and Sarawak must stand together and change or we will continue to be short-changed. Change we must!
*Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister & DAP Secretary General