UMNO Youth action tantamount to declaration of no confidence in the Commodities Trading Tribunal set up by Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Paul Leong

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and Mp for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, on the Printing Presses and Publications 1984 Bill in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, March 27.3.1984

UMNO Youth action tantamount to declaration of no confidence in the Commodities Trading Tribunal set up by Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Paul Leong

The dap takes serious note of the statement by the UMNO Youth vice president, Datuk Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Menteri Besar of Pahang, that UMNO Youth was conducting an investigation into the Kuala Lumpur Commodity Exchange (KLCE) and Kuala Lumpur Commodities Clearing House (KLCCH) crisis, to ascertain who were involved and to present its findings to the public when its investigations were completed.

This tantamount to public declaration of confidence in the Commodities Trading Tribunal set up by the Minister of Primary Industries, Datuk Paul Leong, last Tuesday, to investigate into allegations of misconduct in the KLCE.

The KLCE and KLCCH crisis on the crude palm oil (CPO) futures market in the second economic and financial crisis to rock Malaysia with international repercussions in the last one year, the other being the $2,500 million Bumiputra Malaysia Finance loans scandal in Hong Kong.

It is to be observed that there is a common factor in these two great economic and fincancial crisis, which had besmirched Malaysia’s international reputation for financial and banking integrity and stability – the involvement of Bank Bumiputra.

When the government established a three-man in-house inquiry into the BMF loans scandal, the UMNO Youth did not come out to declare that it was conducting an investigations of its own,, and would make public its investigations when completed.

Could it be that the UMNO Youth conceives its role as one of defending the Bank Bumiputra, whether right or wrong, and in the case of the BMF scandal, to help Bank Bumiputra to sweep the scandal under the carpet, in the case of the KLSE and KLCCH crisis, to advance the cause of the Bank Bumiputra as the Bank Bumiputra is an involved party in the KLCCH crisis?

Since the inception if the KLCE three-and-a-half years ago, there had been widespread complaint that it is no more than a commodity casino where small investors and the millions of consumers had been made victims in the financial power game involving big-time speculators, brokers and commodity exchange officials.

Until yesterday, UMNO Youth had shown no concern or interest in the f confidence in the ate of the small investors or the palm oil smallholders and Felda settlers whose livelihood depended on stable commodity prices. Consequently, the UMNO Youth statement yesterday raises the question whether it is in fact genuinely concerned about the adverse economic repercussions of the KLSE and KLCCH crisis for the country, or it is taking up the cudgel on behalf of Bank Bumiputra and to pressurize the Commodities Trading Tribunal its favour.

A clear-cut statement by UMNO Youth on its real interest and intentions is warranted.

As I said in the recent Parliament meeting, the government must act swiftly and firmly to restore international confidence in the KLCE and to save the palm oil commodity. The artificial inflation of the price of CPO because of speculation and gambling, forcing traditional users of palm oil to turn to vegetable oil, the imminent default in the sippy of some 80,000 tonnes of oil to overseas buyers early next month, would be irreparable damage to Malaysia’s oil palm industry.