Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on Thursday, 11.7.1985.
Call on Prime Minister to schedule a special Parliamentary debate on the Attorney-General’s shocking decision on the BMF scandall.
The announcement by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman that the government has no jurisdiction to try former BMF officials for offences in connection with the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal is the latest bombshell to hit Malaysians.
Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman had blasted to smithereens the expectation of all Malaysians
that the government would honour its repeated promise to leave no stone unturned to
uphold justice and to bring to book the BMF culprits.
From the Attorney-General’s announcement yesterday, it would appear that as far as
Malaysia is concerned, the BMF ‘culprits’ had committed a perfect crime where they
need not fear prosecution and that all the work of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry
Committee is nothing but a waste of time.
Malaysians could still remember that when the Ahmad Nordin’s BMF Inquiry Committee’s
report on “Brief on Prima Facie Cases of Corruption” on the BMF scandal was made
public in January 1985, making specific recommendations for actions to be taken with
regard to various loan transactions for violating the Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act,
the people at large had not given up all hope that there would be full public disclosure of the
BMF loans scandal, and justice would be allowed to take its course.
But we are now told by the Attorney-General that in the biggest financial and banking
scandal of Malaysia, justice cannot be done to the people because of the inadequacies of the law.
The DAP, and I am sure the large majority of Malaysians, cannot accept the Attorney-General’s
decision that the authorities are completely helpless to punish the BMF culprits for their
criminal actions in the stewardship of $2.5 billion of public monies.
I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to schedule a special
parliamentary debate on Monday, when Parliament re-convenes for a fortnight of meeting,
on the Attorney-General’s shocking decision and stand on the BMF loans scandal, for the
Attorney-General is finally answerable to Parliament.
I call on all MPs, regardless of party affiliation, to support a special parliamentary debate
on the BMf loans scandal on Monday, for at stake is not only the credibility of the
government with regard to its sincerity in getting to the bottom of the BMF loans scandal,
but also the integrity of the government as well as relevance of Parliament itself.
The Attorney-General said the government has no jurisdiction to try offences committed
outside Malaysia, but he should know better than anyone that the Prevention of Corruption Act 1961
has an extra-territorial application, giving Malaysian courts the power to try offences committed
Again, he said former Prime Minister Tun Hussien Onn’s suggestion for amending the
law to bring to book the BMF culprits is not acceptable because it offends against the
Constitutional principle against retrospective legislation in making an act criminal and
punishable although when the act was committed it was not an offence.
Can the Attorney-General explain why the Government had in the past enacted
retrospective legislation violating the constitutional and human rights of Malaysians?
Why this double standards?