Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at DAP PJ Hqrs on Wednesday, 3rd October 1984 at 11 a.m.
Lim Kit Siang to seek appointment with Acting Prime Minister,Datuk Musa Hitam, on allocation of parliamentary time forDebate on establishment of Royal Commission of Inquiry into $ 2.5 billion BMF loans scandal
I have given the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, notice for the following motion which I would move in the forthcoming budget meeting of Parliament on the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal:
“That this House
NOTES the repeated public statements of the Prime Minister and other top Cabinet Ministers of the Government’s resolve to bring to book the ‘culprits’ in the Bumiputera Malaysia Finance loans scandal;
NOTES the call by the Chairman of the BMF Inquiry Committee, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, that a Royal Commission of Inquiry is the only form of inquiry to establish if anyone is criminally liable in the BMF loans scandal after he had spent nine months to prepare the interim report of the BMF loans scandal;
RESOLVES that a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be established to investigate into all aspects of the BMF loans scandal and to expose the BMF culprits who have caused Malaysia to lose some $ 2.5 billion.”
I had originally intended to write to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to seek his agreement to allocate Oct. 17 and 18 for Parliamentary debate on the motion on the establishment of Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF scandal – just before the Oct. 19, when the new Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, would be presenting his maiden 1985 Budget – in view of the importance of the issue.
As I now understand that the Prime Minister would be returning from his trip overseas only on Oct. 17, I would seek an appointment with the Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, for his agreement to set aside two days of parliamentary debate before the 1985 budget presentation on Oct.19.
Regardless of what is the government’s stand on the Royal Commission of Inquiry for the BMF scandal, the executive should respect the right of Parliament to debate it, and be prepared to submit itself to the will and decision of Parliament.
The Executive should not pre – empt the decision of Parliament by assuming that all the Barisan Nasional MPs are ‘yes – men’ and would definitely oppose the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF scandal.
I would urge Datuk Musa Hitam not to impose the party whip on this issue, but to allow the individual Barisan Nasional MPs the free choice to decide according to their own conscience, as the BMF loans scandal should not be approached from any partisan political angle, but from a national point of view.
Although both Datuk Musa Hitam and the Acting Finance Minister, Datuk Sanusi Junid, have given their views, Parliament must not be denied a full – scale debate on this question, especially as this clearly reflect the national aspiratkon and concern over the biggest financial and banking scandal in Malaysian history.
DAP suggests that the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee should be represented in the George Tan preliminary inquiry in Hong Kong
The holding of the preliminary inquiry of the former Carrian boss, George Tan, 51, and four others in the Hong Kong magistrate’s court in secret session is most shocking, and a setback to efforts by Malaysians to learn more about the BMF loans scandal.
Malaysia should in fact protest to the Hong Kong authorities for holding the George Tan preliminary inquiry in secret, for it has denied Malaysians information which they are entitled to about the George Tan and Carrian connection with the BMF.
The Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee had submitted an interim report because it is awaiting for more information to come out from the trial of George Tan and his associates about the BMF loans scandal for its final report.
I am sure that the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry had also not counted on the Hong Kong magistrate’s court resorting to secret proceeding.
In the George Tan preliminary inquiry, which is expected to last four months, Bumiputra Malaysia Finance is represented by counsel Miss Cherry Bridges, who is holding a watching brief for BMF. Miss Bridges also held a watching brief for BMF in the Jalil Ibrahim murder trial.
I suggest that the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry should be represented in the George Tan preliminary inquiry, by having its representative on the legal panel holding watching brief for BMF in the George Tan preliminary inquiry.
The executive chairman of Bank Bumiputra, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, has been remiss in his duty to help the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry secure all available information on the BMF loans scandal in not making such arrangements. In fact, Dr. Nawawi does not seem to have been very co – operative to ensure that there is the fullest public accountability for the BMF loans scandal, and he should resign as Bank Bumiputra Chairman without anymore ado. He should explain for instance why the Ahmad Nordin interim report on the BMF scandal has not yet been made public. Is it Dr. Nawawi who is objecting to its release, or it is the Finance Minister or the Prime Minister who is blocking the release of the Ahmad Nordin Committee interim report?
Datuk Harris Salleh can arrange another Chinese Assembly Hall meeting and I will repeat new fresh allegations against him once again
I have received a cable from the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Harris Salleh, last Thursday which read:
“As reported in the Star on 25.9.84 you have made certain new fresh allegations against me on September 24 at the Chinese Assembly Hall. Since no details of your allegations are available, you are therefore requested to give full details of your so called new fresh allegations in writing to me to enable my lawyers to study them.
Harris Mohd. Salleh.”
Firstly, I want to ask Datuk Harris Salleh what has happened to my old allegations against him, which I publicly repeated outside the protection of Parliamentary privilege at the Chinese Assembly Hall on Sept. 3. Is he going to sue me for those allegations, or he dare not do so.
Secondly, why didn’t he or his lawyers or his representative come to the Chinese Assembly Hall on Sept. 24 I had given him advance notice, sent him a telegram, and even arranged for a special seat for him with his namecard on the stage, to hear me repeat new fresh allegations against him?
Since Datuk Harris Salleh did not care enough for his own reputation to attend the Chinese Assembly Hall on Sept. 24 although given advance notice, why should he be excited now, wanting me to furnish him ‘full details’ of my new fresh allegations in writing for his lawyers to study them.
If Datuk Harris Salleh is really interested in these new fresh allegations, he could arrange another Chinese Assembly Hall public meeting, and I will accept his invitation to turn up to repeat these new fresh allegations which I made against him on Sept. 24.
The other possibility is that he could wait until the Parliamentary meeting, when I would repeat the allegations inside Parliament what I had said publicly, and at that time, he could challenge me to repeat outside the protection of Parliamentary privilege for him to take legal action!
Datuk Harris Salleh should not think that because he behaves like a pocket dictator in Sabah, everyone is at his beck and call. His statement of defence in reply to my statement of claim suing him for abuse of power in denying me entry into Kota Kinabalu on August 26 was given extensive coverage by Radio and Television Malaysia news. But my statement of claim against Harris Salleh was not mentioned over Radio and Television Malaysia news. Datuk Harris Salleh is clearly associated everywhere with such double – standards!
The Tambunan Sabah State Assembly by – election will be held on Oct. 13, 1984. The DAP is not involved in the by – election, but for the sake of Sabah State Constitution and the need for the people to demonstrate their desire for a political standards, I call on the Tambunan voters to cast their vote for the Independent Candidate, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
A defeat by Berjaya at the Tambunan Sabah Assembly by – election would serve as a earning to Datuk Harris Salleh that his dictatorial, undemocratic and high – handed ways are unacceptable and would herald a new wind of change for Sabah.
The first wind of change took place in 1976 when Parti Berjaya was formed to clean up the corruption, abuse of power and dictatorship of the Tun Mustapha government. The time has come for a second wind of change to clean up the corruption, abuse of power and dictatorship of the Datuk Harris Salleh government.
Call on MIC Datuk Samy Vellu to call for a boycott of MAIKA as 10% owner of TV Three for its refusal to telecast Tamil programmes
The MIC President, Datuk Samy Vellu, is making noise protesting about TV Three’s refusal to telecast Tamil programmes. TV Three’s stand is highly deplorable and shows that it has failed to realise that it has a national obligation to help promote the multi – racial, multi – cultural character of Malaysia.
Datuk Samy Vellu has called for a boycott of TV Three. He should go one step further, and call for the public boycott of MAIKA which is a 10% minority shareholder of Channel Three and must be held responsible for the failure and refusal to telecast Tamil programmes. If MAIKA is unable to get its trust on behalf of the Indian community respected by Channel Three, it must either bear full responsibility ( and for which the MIC should call on public to boycott) or MAIKA should pull out of Channel Three and have nothing to do with it in protest. Otherwise, why should the MIC protest against the Channel Three’s programming and yet invest in 10% of the Channel 3 through MAIKA holdings. MIC must decide whether they find principles or money – making opportunities more important.
Deputy Secretary – General P. Patto appointed Organising Chairman of the three – route 800 – mile Alor Star / Penang – Malacca, Kuantan – Malacca, Johore Bahru – Malacca marathon walk to mark the end of the 300,000 Save Bukit China mass signature campaign
The DAP has planned four highlights in the Save Bukit China campaign for the month of October to prove that the Malacca Chief Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahim Thamby Cik, is wrong when he claimed that there is very little support for the Save Bukit China campaign.
The four Save Bukit China campaign highlights in October are:
1. 300,000 Mass Signature Campaign, which will make it the most historic and memorable signature campaign in Malaysian history, which will conclude on Oct. 29, 1984. The 300,000 mass signature campaign is under the charge of Director of Operations, Sdr. Liew Ah Kim ( National DAP Publicity Secretary). With four weeks left for the campaign, over 180,000 signatures had been collected. Three states, namely Perak, Selangor and Malacca, have passed the 30,000 signature mark.
2. The three – direction, 800 – mile Alor Star / Penang – Malacca, Kuantan – Malacca, Johore Bahru – Malacca marathon walk to bring the 300,000 Save Bukit China signatures to Malacca for presentation to the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple trustees. The three – direction 800 – mile marathon walk is expected to take the following officials:
800 – mile Save Bukit China Marathon Walk Organising Committee
Chairman: Sdr. P. Patto, Deputy Secretary – General
Deputy Chairman: Sdr. Fung Ket Wing, DAP MP for Sandakan and DAP Assistant National Treasurer;
Vice Chaimen: Sdr. Fadzlan Yahya DAPSY Chairman Dr. Oon Hong Geok DAP Wanita National Secretary Sim Kwang Yang, DAP MP for Kuching.
Secretary: Sdr. Liew Ah Kim
Asst. Secretary: Sdr. K.C. Cheah & N. Madhawan Nair
Sdr. George John
Sdr. Gooi Hock Seng
Sdr. Lau Dak Kee
Sdr. Clift Tan
Sdr. Dr. Eng Seng Chye
Sdr. Hu Sepang
Sdr. Yap Ah Ngau
Sdr. Lim Ong Hang
Sdr. Lai Keun Ban
Sdr. Lee Kaw
Advisers: Dr. Chen Man Hin – National Chairman
Lim Kit Siang
Lee Lam Thye
Dr. Tan Seng Giaw
3. The 10,000 – People Save Bukit China Dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 28, where the participants from the Alor Star / Penang – Malacca and Kuantan – Malacca marathon routes will provide a highlight by walking and arriving at the Dinner. The 10,000 – People Save Bukit China Dinner is under the charge of Sdr. Lee Lam Thye, Deputy Secretary – General.
4. The 5,000 – People Save Bukit China gathering in Malacca on Oct. 30 to mark the completion of the dual programmes of 300,000 mass signature campaign and the 800 – mile Save Bukit China marathon walk.
The Organising Committee of the 800 – mile Save Bukit China Marathon Walk will hold its first meeting in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 7.10.1984 at 11 a.m.
Daim Zainuddin would get Cabinet agreement to release BMF interim inquiry report before budget day on 19th Oct.
On his return from World Bank and IMP meetings yesterday, the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, said that the Ahmad Nordin BMF inquiry committee’s interim report would be made public after the Budget Day on Oct. 19.
Daim Zainuddin did not explain whether the Ahmad Nordin Committee interim report would be made public in toto without any editing by the government, or whether the government would be merely releasing a statement on the findings on the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee interim report.
There is no good and convincing reason why the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee interim report should be released after the Budget Day on Oct. 19.
In fact a press report about the findings of the interim report made its immediate release even more compelling. According to Star, Bank Bumiputra lent about $1 billion through BMF to Carrian and George Tan – related Companies after the collapse of the property market in Hong Kong in 1982 when Carrian was already in deep financial trouble.
The interim report revealed that only about 20 per cent of the more than $ 2 billion was given out in the first two years (1980 and 1981) of BMF’s operations. By the end of 1982, another 20 per cent had been given out. About 30 per cent more was lent out after the collapse of the Carrian group in mid – 1982 with the remaining 30 per cent given out last year.
This means that Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, as Executive Chairman of Bank Bumiputra, for the period where over 60 per cent of the BMF loans to Carrian were approved, was in fact a major subject of the BMF loans scandal inquiry.
Dr. Nawawi should have resigned to enable the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee to carry out its investigations without any let or hindrance, for his very presence must have inhibited the BMF inquiry committee’s work. This has also reinforced what I said last week that three appears to be attempts by the top people to dissuade the BMF inquiry committee from probing into the Bank Bumiputra’s bail – out operation of Carrian ‘throwing good money after bad money’.
I would advise Daim Zainuddin to get Cabinet approval to release the BMF inquiry report before Budget Day on 19th Oct. Daim probably fears what if the BMF inquiry report is released before budget day, it would overshadow his 1985 maiden Budget and the subsequent Budget debate in parliament.
In actual fact, if the Government refuses to release the Ahmad Nordin inquiry committee interim report before Budget day on Oct. 19, the 1985 budget as well as the ensuing parliamentary debate on the budget would be dominated by the BMF scandal and the government’s refusal to release it to the public, to the extent that Daim Zainuddin’s 1985 budget would be regarded as of secondary importance.
I for one would devote the theme of my budget speech on the BMF scandal and the refusal of the government to make public the Ahmad Nordin report, because it is central to the whole question of public finance and government financial integrity and responsibility.
This is why I suggested that the government should set aside two days. Say Oct. 17 and 18, to the debate on my motion on the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal. The BMF scandal can then be dealt with extensively and exhaustively. So that Daim Zainuddin presents his 1985 budget on Oct. 19, everyone could give full concentration to his budget strategy and proposals without being dominated by the BMF scandal. The ensuing Parliamentary debate on the budget would also be able to concentrate on the budget proper without being derailed by BMF scandal, for the BMF would have seen dealt with in a substantive motion in Parliament already.