By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, Oct. 7, 1984:
DAP Central Executive Committee decides to file a legal suit for a test case on whether Petronas had acted ultra vires of its statutory objectives in using $ 2.5 billion of oil money to buy over Bank Bumiputra and the BMF bad debts
The DAP Central Executive Committee, at its meeting in Petaling Jaya today, decided to take a test case in courts to determine whether Petronas had acted ultra vires of its statutory objectives in using $2.5 billion of oil money to buy over Bank Bumiputra and the BMF bad debts.
Petronas is created by the Petroleum Development Act 1974 “to explore and exploit” petroleum whether on – shore or off – shore, and to control and carry on downstream activities and developments relating to petroleum and its products.
Although Petronas was incorporated under the Companies Act 1966, the controlling or parent statute is Petroleum Development Act and it could not act ultra vires of the statutory objectives laid down by the parent Act.
This would mean that out of its 33 ‘objects’ as provided in the Memorandum of Association of Petronas as incorporated under the Companies Act, those items which are outside the ambit of the statutory objectives laid down by Petroleum Development Act would be illegal, null and void and of no effect.
As the purchase of an ailing Bank and the taking over of the $2.5 billion BMF bad debts cannot by any stretch of imagination be considered either as petroleum upstream or downstream activity, or petroleum – related activity, clearly Petronas had acted ultra vires in the Petronas – Bank Bumiputra / BMF deal.