Press Statement by Parliamentesry Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Thursday, January 3, 1985.
DAP commends the Cabinet for reversing its earlier decision in making public the latest report of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee.
For the first time since the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) loans scandal, I want to commend the cabinet for taking the right decision yesterday in making public the latest report of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee Report, which is of the opinion that prima facie cases of corruption exist against the three original BMF Board members, Lorrain Esme Usman, Datuk Hashim Shamsuddin and Dr. Rais Saniman, and three former senior BMF officials, Ibrahim Jaafar, Henry Chin and Eric Chow.
When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, returned from his recent overseas trip, I had publicly appealed to him to reverse the Cabinet decision taken in his absence that there would be no further publication of reports by the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee, except for the final BNF report.
I am glad that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet had agreed to the reversion of this earlier decision, which for the first time in the BMF loans scandal, that the government was now more receptive to public opinion and the need to regain public confidence which had been badly shatterecl not only by the BMF loans scandal but also by the handling of the scandal.
Reading the government statements on the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Report with regard to the prima facie/cases of corruption against the six persons named, the manner in which they used their position to get loans and benefit for themselves by pledging BMF monies, one is shocked by the utter lack of integrity and total collapse of values by those vested with the stewardship of public funds.
Malaysia cannot but help wonder whether the rot had spread to other government agencies but which had so far been able to avoid public attention because no public scandal had erupted as yet. From the accounts given by the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee, it is clear that what had been revealed is only the tip of the iceberg, as they have not fully explained why such a colossal sum of $2,500 million was lost by the BMF in Hong Kong.
Reading the Ahmad Nordin Inquiry Committee’s report, is clear that the Committee had not been able to get the full co-operation from the major personalities in the BMF loans scandal, or by their legal representatives. I am fortified in my view that even at this stage, it is not too late for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set up to take on from where the BMF Inquiry to conduct the fullest and most comprehensive inquiry into this biggest financial and banking scandal in Malaysia.
It is apparent that even if the Bank Bumiputera now adopt the recommendations of the Ahmed Nordin Committee and lodges police reports in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong against the six persons named, the authorities in Malaysia will probably have great problem in reaching the six persons many of whom, if not all, seems to be out of Malaysia.
If the Malaysian investigave authonities are not able to contact the six persons named in the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Report, then the highest authorities would owe the Malaysian people a full explanation as to why no precaution had been taken to ensure that the six major personalities stay in Malaysia, or remain within easy reach of the authorities when needed.
Bank Bumiputera’s New Board has made a good impression with its business-lie and realistic start.
The new Bank Bumiputera Board of Directors has made a good impression with its business-like and realistic start and approach to the problems of the Bank Bumiputera.
It has not made the mistake of the fomner Bank Bumiputera Board Executive Chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, who made the most fantastic statement after the Petronas bail-out of the Bank Bumputra and the BMF’s $2.5 billion bad debts in Sept last/declaring that Bank Bumiputera was ‘sound and strong’!
The first thing the new Bank Bumijputra Board must do is to recognise that Bank Bumiputera face a confidence and credibility crisis, and to take remedial measures to restore public faith and confidence.
In this connection, the new Board’s decision to stop all Bank Bumiputra foreign branches and the BMF giving out loans, to reshuffle positions at all executive levels in the bank, and the appointment of a special audit committee comprising three non-executive directors for internal audit, are steps which would help to restore public confidence.
I suggest that the new Bank Bumiputera Board should even consider closing down some of the foreign branches of Bark Bumiputra to concentrate fully on domestic funding of national development, instead of giving out vast sums of loans overseas when Malaysia itself has reached a total national debt of close to $60 billion! It is simple against our national interest to borrow at high interest rates in international money markets, while on the other hand, Bank Bumiputera lends out Malaysian funds irresponsibly overseas.
DAP calls on Malaysian Government not to allow illegal Indonesian immigrants to turn Malaysia into a criminal and lawless country.
In the past few days, despite the police round-up of illegal Indonesian immigrants, the illegal Indonesian immigrants are again on the rampage in their acts of crime and lawlessness, killing people in Kuantan and Johore Bahru mercilessly in the cause of their armed robberies.
Malaysians must not wait until they become victims blatant illegal Indonesian immigrant criminality before they become personally involved and convinced about the need to out an end to this problem.
The DAP calls on the Malaysian Government to take effective long-term measures to check and resolve the problem of the illegal Indonesian immigrants, and not just round them up to send them back to Indonesia, when they could easily slip back into Malaysia the same day or the next day.
The people cannot be indifferent, but must apply the greatest pressure on all MPs, Assemblymen, as well as the State and Federal Government to uproot this problem of illegal Indonesian immigrants once and for all, so that Malaysians can be safe from harm.