Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 25.9.1984
DAP gives notice to Dewan Rakyat Speaker to move a motion For the establishment of Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal
The call by the Chairman of the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance loans scandal inquiry committee, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, for a Royal Commission of Inquiry nine months after his appointment and the submission of the interim report of the committee is clearly a plaintive cry of frustration, helplessness and even futility in trying to get to the bottom of the BMF loans scandal.
The DAP had right from the beginning called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal, and had great reservations about the terms of reference, scope of inquiry and the powers available to the Inquiry Committee, and we have now been proved right with tan Sri Nordin’s call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
One of the dlemishes of the government’s handling of the BMF scandal is that despite repeated top Cabinet Ministerial assurance that those found guilty of breach of trust and guilty of offence in the BMF loans scandal would not be spared, there had not been a single person who had been arrested or charged in the biggest financial and banking scandal in Malaysian history in the last three years!
It would appear that the top Cabinet Ministers work keep repeating their determination to bring to book the culprits in the BMF loans scandal, without actually bringing anyone to book!
Dr. Nawawi must explain why no action had been taken so far against the ‘culprits’
The Auditor-General’s statement yesterday that “Bank Bumiputra has enough resources at its disposal to bring those responsible to book. They have all the time to do it; after all, the records are there” are very significant, because it confirmed my view that the establishment of the inquiry committee with its limited terms of reference is more a delaying tactics than a genuine endeavour to get to the bottom of the BMF loans scandal.
The Auditor-General has also said that his committee could not have been the first to detect guilt in the $2.4billion case of bad debts. He also said:
“It is on public record that Bank Negara started its own investigation into the BMF accounts as far as 1982. and Bank Bumiputra also appointed its own internal auditors to examine the accounts.
“You can quote me on this. Why make promises of taking action based on the work of other people of an independent committee?”
Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin’s statements have come as close as one could possibly expect from a public servant to put the blame of failing to take action to bring to book the culprits of the BMF scandal squarely on the Bank Bumiputra Executive Chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin.
Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin should stop ‘passing the buck’ and explain to the people why he had failed so far to take action against the BMF scandal ‘culprits’ when he had all the records and investigations even before the BMF inquiry was established. Is Dr. Nawawi claiming that he knew absolutely nothing how the BMF’s $2.4 billion bad debts came about, who was responsible, and that he is depending solely and wholly on the findings of the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry?
Or is it because Dr. Nawawi had no authority to act against the ‘culprits’ because they are too powerful, even for him, who moves in the corridors of power in Malaysia?
Dr. Nawawi should fully account for his actions and that of the Bank Bumiputra to the people, even though the Bank has bow been bought over by Petronas, for they are public servants who are entrusted with the charge of public funds and trust.
Dr. Nawawi must not think he is a servant to top Cabinet Ministers only, for he is in fact a public servant to the entire Malaysian population to whom he must account for his actions.
Tan Sri Nordin’s frustrations
I can understand Tan Sri Nordin’s frustrations for the people had been led to place very high hopes on him to redeem Malaysia’s international financial reputation and integrity, and it there is no breakthrough in the BMF ‘cover-up’ by the Committee of Inquiry, then tan Sri Nordin’s impeccable personal reputation could not avoid being tarnished.
I understand that top government authorities are not pleased with the BMF inquiry committee report, and do not want the Committee to probe deeper into the BMF loans scandal, in particular the role of bank Bumiputra under its new Chairman then, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, in its massive attempt to rescue Carrian empire from collapse and ‘throwing good money after bad money’ putting the BMF deeper into the red.
The longer the interim report of the BMF inquiry committee is suppressed, the longer will various versions of the BMF Scandal make their rounds in the country. For instance, it is believed that Talil Ibrahim before he was murdered, had been submitting periodic audit reports back home to Bank Bumiputra from Hong Kong and had strongly recommended against any Bank Bumiputra attempt to rescue the tottering Carrian empire, but he was overruled. What was the actual position. The public have the right to know the answers to these questions about all aspects of the BMF loans scandal. As a first step, the BMF interim report of the inquiry committee should be made public without delay.
The DAP calls on the government to give serious consideration to Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin’s call for a royal Commission of Inquiry which must be even more persuasive and compelling as he had spent nine months inquiring into the BMF loans scandal. If the top government leadership has nothing to hide, then there is no reason for government reluctance to set up such a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Taan Sri Nordin has offered to sit on the Royal Commission of Inquiry, which he suggested should be headed by a High Court Judge.
DAP to write to Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to ask for two days on Oct. 17 and 18 to be set aside for Parliament to debate a motion on Royal Commission of Inquiry into BMF loans scandal
I have today given notice to the Speaker of Dewan Rayat, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, that I am tabling a motion for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal, in the light of the Tan Sri Nordin revelations.
The government must decide whether special Parliamentary time would be allocates for such a debate, or whether the motion would be ignored altogether.
In view of the gravity of the BMF issue, I will write to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, seeking the agreement of the government to set aside two days for Parliament debate the motion for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal. I am suggesting Oct. 17 and 18, just before the new Finance Minister’s budget presentation on Oct. 19.
Have the Malaysian authorities anything to do with the ‘secret’ trial of Geoge Tan & Co?
It is reported in today’s press that the preliminary inquiry into the conspiracy charges against the former Carrian Chairman, George Tan, and his righthand man, Bentley Ho and three of their advisers, beginning next Monday on Oct. 1, will be held in secret in closed doors.
This is most shocking, especially as he Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, had gone on public record as saying that the BMF inquiry committee is awaiting the proceedings of the trial of the Carrian kingpins to assist in the preparation of their final report.
There is disturbing speculation that the secret session of the Hong Kong magistrate’s acurt was the result of pressure from the Malaysian authorities, and for the good name of the Malaysian authorities, this matter should be cleared up immediately.
I call on the highest Malaysian authority to make it clear publicly and internationally that Malaysia welcomes a open and public proceeding of the George Tan preliminary inquiry, and that Malaysian has nothing to hide in whatever revelations that may emerge in the George Tan trial!