Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Thursday, 8.7.1985:
DAP to ask Parliament to reconsider its rejection of call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into BMF scandal in view of widespread public disaffection.
After the UMO Supreme Council meeting on Saturday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, justified the government’s secrecy on the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) loans scandal by declaring that The government would not divulge secrets if it jeopardized government efforts to see justice done.
But Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir had failed to answer the case made by former
Prime Minister, Tun Hussien Onn, calling on the government to be more open and
forthright with the people if it is not to lose credibility.
This is because Tun Hussien Onn had stressed was also based on the demands of justice.
As Tun Hussien Onn stressed a few days ago:
“We are talking about justice. Justice for whom? A few people?
A handful of them: We want justice too”.
It is clear that ‘justice’ to the majority of the people and to the nation demands a full
disclosure of the full story of the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir’s
statement that the government would divulge secrets when it is no longer a problem.
Again, we have a right to ask, in the BMF loans scandal, what does the Prime Minister mean
by ‘when it is no longer a problem?’
Does it mean when the BMF loans scandal would no more be a problem for him politically
as well as for the Barisan Nasional in the coming general elections?
What is important for the country is not that the Barisan Nasional government is
‘having a problem’ arising from the BMF scandal, which would cause it to lose popular
electoral support, but that the country has a problem of how to get to the bottom of the
BMF loans scandal to uphold the principle of public accountability of public funds and
public duties, and the principles of integrity, honesty and sincerity in the public service.
It may be against the interests of the Barisan Naisonal government to fully disclose and
divulge the whole story of the BMF scandal, but the interests of the Barisan Nasional
government in this case is completely different from the interests of the Malaysian nation!
For instance, during the Watergate scandal in the Unites States, the full Watergate disclosure
was against the interests of the Nixon Presidency and Republican Administration,
but in that case, American national interests demands full disclosure on the Watergate scandal.
Tun Hussien Onn’s statement calling for more open and forthright government in the
BMF scandal reflects the widespread public unhappiness at the failure and breach of faith
of the government to provide full public accounting on the biggest financial and banking
scandal in Malaysia.
New questions are again asked whether the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry committee would be
allowed to inquire into all aspects of the scandal, in particular the ‘political dimension’ as to
who are the political leaders who gave the approval for such scandalous loans. In October
last year, the Malaysian Parliament rejected my motion calling for the setting up of a
Royal Commission of Inquiry with full powers to conduct a public inquiry into the
BMF loans scandal. The DAP proposes asking Parliament to reconsider its rejection of my
motion in October to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry as in the last nine months the
‘blanket of secrecy’ on the BMF loans scandal and the ‘foot-dragging’ by the various
authorities to bring the BMF ‘culprits’ to book had reinforced the need for a Commission.