By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 23.7.1983
DAP sends protest cable to Dr. Mahathir Mohamed against continued government attempt to ‘cover up’ Bumiputera Malaysia Finance billion- loan scandal.
With the cold- blooded murder of Bank Bumiputera officer, Jalil Ibrahim, in Hong Kong last Tuesday where he was assigned in connection with the billion- dollar Bumiputera Malaysia Finance loan problems, I had expected the Gove rnment to more m open and forthcoming and to change its attitude of evading its responsibility of public accountability in Parliament on the BMF loans.
I was therefore most shocked when I received the Order Paper for the forthcoming Parliamentary meeting July 25- August 5, and found that the question I had addressed to the Minister of Finance, Tengku Razaleigh, on Monday, July 25, on the BMF loans had been ‘killed’ by being placed at the bottom of the questions, to be exact, No. 40 of 42 questions, where it would never be asked.
My question on the BMF loans on Monday was one of the earliest questions to be submitted to Parliament by any Member of Parliament, and there is no reason why it should be placed No. 40 of 42, when other questions I submitted at the same time for other days, and directed at other Ministers, were placed in the first 10 questions of the day.
My question to the Minister of Finance on the BMF loans is as follows:
“To ask the Minister of Finance to state the total amount of loans advanced separately by Bumiputera Malaysia Finance (BMF) to the Carrian Group, the Eda Group and Hong Kong developer Kevin Hsu; the amount of losses which the BMF would incur from each of the there borrowers; the reasons and persons responsible for the BMF lending some $2,000 million beyond the bounds of normal banking prudence, what action had been taken against BMF and Bank Bumiputera officials responsible for such a massive loss of public funds”.
It would appear that the shocking behavior of the Bank Bumiputera Chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, and the other Bank Directors in conspicuously absenting themselves from the post- Bank Bumiputera AGM press conference on 27th June 1983 to eevade queries about the BMF loans is part of top- level policy strategy, for the Financed Minister is doing exactly the same thing in Parliament.
I have sent a protest cable to the Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, at the most unparliamentary and improper action in evading a Parliamentary question on the BMF loans by placing the question at the very bottom of the Order Paper, and to urge the Prime Minister to intervene to ensure that a full Ministerial statement on the BMF loans in Hong Kong should be made in Parliament, and that opportunities should be made available in the coming meeting of Parliament to question the Government on the loans and for a debate.
If the Bank Bumiputera officials and the Government Ministers continue to resort to all sorts of strategems to evade a public accountability on the BMF loans, then public confidence in the present government leadership would be greately shaken.
It is completely out of keeping with Government which proclaims as its motto a ;clean, efficient and trustworthy administration’, that not only are Bank Bumiputera officials ‘on the run’ on the BMF loans, Government Ministers are similarly on the run.
DAP calls for complete change of Board and top management of Bank Bumiputera and BMF
The Bank Bumiputra’s commitment of over a billion dollar loans through its wholly- owned Hong Kong subsidiary, Bumiputra Malaysia Finance, ‘beyond the bounds of normal banking prudence’, its handling of the BMF scandal in the last eight months and in particular the fiasco at the post- AGM press conference of the Bank Bumiputera on June 26, and now the cold- blooded murder of Jalil Ibrahim, constitute a indictment/ serious on the competence of the Bank Bumiputra Board and top management.
The attempt by the Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin in the News Straits Times today to deny that Jalil Ibrahim was sent to Hong Kong to clear up the BMF loan scandals, has deepened the BMF mystery.
Thus, Dr. Nawawi was quoted as saying that Jalil was sent to Hong Kong to ‘strengthen’ BMF’s administration, and when asked if Jalil was dispatched to Hong Kong to look for ‘discrepates’ in BMF’s accounts or its dealings, Dr. Nawawil denied, when he said that Jalil ‘had simply been helping with the administration since February’ and that the auditing of the accounts did not arise.
Another Bank Bumiputera executive director Datuk Hashim Shamsuddin also denied that Jalil was sent to Hong Kong to probe BMF’s careless lendings.
This is in complete variance with earlier reports, and also with Jalil’s family accounts that Jalil was dispatched to Hong Kong in connection with the BMF loan problems.
To do full justice to Encik Jalil, to ensure that he had not died in vain, the Bank Bumiputra Chairman must publicly make a clear statement as to Encik Jalil’s duties in Hong Kong. For if Encik Jalil’s job in Hong Kong was purely’ administrative’ and had nothing to do with the probe into the BMF loans, then the implication is that Encik Jalil’s murder was a personal affair unrelated to his BMF duties. This will be a great slur on the reputation of Encik Jalil if this is not true.
In this connection, the top Bank Bumiputra officials have also be negligent in not realizing that Encik Jalil and other officials sent to probe into the BMF loans could expose themselves to personal danger because of the large amounts of monies involved, and allegations of improprieties and even corrupt practices.
The DAP calls for a complete shake-up and change of the Bank Bumiputra Board and top management, to ensure that a new and competent team takes over the Bank Bumiputra and BMF affairs to instill new confidence not only among the BB and BMF employees, but also the rakyat.