DAP welcomes a new Board for Bank Bumiputera and express full support for its ‘cleaning up’ operation

Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Tuesday, 2.1..l985.

One – DAP welcomes a new Board for Bank Bumiputera and express full support for its ‘cleaning up’ operation. The DAP welcomes the appointment of a new Board for Bank Bumiputera which should have been done in 1983. As Petronas Adviser and former Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, had said, “there would be a lot of cleaning up to be done“ by the new Board, the new Board directors could be assured of the fullest support by the people and the DAP in the ‘cleaning up’ operation.

Regardless of the outcome of the test case filed by DAP legal adviser , K.C. Cheah, to challenge the legality of the Petronas takeover of Bank Bumiputera, Bank Bumiputera would continue as the major banking institution in the country with government backing, and as such, the need for a new set of Board of Directors to regain public confidence is imperative.

The credibility of the Bank Bumiputera under a new leadership, however, would also be affected by the handling of the BMF loans scandal, and in this regard, I call on the new Bank Bumiputera Board to make a policy decision to make public all the reports of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee. If necessary, the new Board should recommend to the government for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the BMF loans scandal.

It would be tragic if because of the inept and unsatisfactory handling of the BMF loans scandal inquiry, efforts by the new Bank Bumiputera Board to regain public confidence is seriously hampered.

In today’s press, the BMF Inquiry Committee Chairman, Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin Haji Zakaria, said that the final report on the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal would be submitted to the Government in April which would tell the ‘full story’ of the BMF Scandal.

The people of Malaysia, however, are entitled to expect that the government or the Bank Bumiputera should take the necessary steps to deal with the BMF loans scandal, and not just merely wait for the final report in April.

Both the Government and Bank Bumiputcra should let the public know whether they have acted on the recommendation of the Ahmad Nordin Committee to lodge police reports in Hong Kong to enable investigations to be speeded up into the loans scandal.

Two – DAP condemns Sabah State Government’s abolition of Tambunan as a district as ’political persecution’ which violates the Malaysian Constitution and calls on the Prime Minister to check the new excesses and abuses of power byHarris Salleh.

The decision by the Berjaya State Government of Sabah to abolish Tambunan’s status as a district, following the decisive defeat of Berjaya candidate in the Tambunan by election to Independent candidate, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, on Saturday, is political persecution and vendetta At its purest. It is also a violation of the Malaysian Constitution which guarantees that there would be no discrimination according to political beliefs. It must be condemned by all Malaysians who cherish the development of a democratic tradition, whereby the people’s political choice in elections must be fully respected.

In threatening to withdraw government services from the Tambunan constituency because of the defeat of the Berjaya candidate, Datuk Harris Salleh, the Sabah Chief Minister, has shown that he simply does not understand what democracy is all about. If the people of Tambunan only have the right to vote for the candidate of the ruling party, then Harris Salleh might as well declare Sabah as a one-party state.

By withdrawing government services from Tambunan, to the extent of abolishing Tambunan’s status as a district and the closure of all government departments, is Harris Salleh suggesting that Tambunan could declare independence from Sabah, as the Sabah state government is disclaiming responsibility for the area?

Harris Salleh’s latest tantrum must be checked, and I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahatir to intervene and stop Harris Salleh’s new excesses and abuses of powers, which has made Malaysia another laughing stock in the world.