Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in DAP PJ Hqrs on Thursday, August 15, 1985 at 12 noon
Ahmad Nordin’s description of the narrow scope of the final report of BMF Inquiry Committee raises question whether the BMF Inquiry Committee will be a major public disappointment.
I am surprised and even dismayed by Tan Sri Abmad Nordin’ s description of the narrow scope of the final report of the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) Inquiry Committee.
Tan Sri Ahnlad Nordin said that the BMF Inquiry Committee was now in the process of preparing its final report which would describe how the money came to be released by the bank. He said: “Beyond that we don’t know because we can’t get hold of those who borrowed the money. We therefore have to draw the line there.’
Surely, a description of how BMF lent $2.5 billion would not require a two—year effort by the Committee. Malaysians are not so much interested as to which BMF officer authorised which loan to which borrower in the $2.5 billion loans scandal, which should have been easily available from the BMF records and could have been prepared in a less than a month. What Malaysians want to know, and for which they have been waiting for over three years, are some to some of the following questions:
1. What is the real relationship between George Tan and the Carrian Group with the BMF, Bank Bumiputra and Malaysian leaders that Bank Bumiputra and BMF could lend some $2 billion to one company, a sum which exceeded the capital of the parent bank.
2. Whether top political leaders in the country had been involved in the BMF loans scandal, and if so, who are they and the nature of their involvement.
3. Whether Malaysian political parties had been similarly involved irk the BMF loans scandal.
4. Why the various regulatory agencies like Bank Negara, the Registry of Companies, had failed to check and prevent the BMP loans scandal from reaching its final magnitude.
5. Whether the various Boards of Directors of Bank Bumiputera either individually or collectively had been responsible by commission or omission in contributing to the $2.5 billion BMP loans scandal.
If the BMF Inquiry Committee’s Final report could not answer questions like the above, then it is going to be a major public disappointment.
I have the greatest respect for the integrity and character of Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin, and I congratulate him for being recently honoured with the Magsaysay Award. I am not making any personal criticism of him or the other members of his Inquiry Committee. Right from the beginning, however, I have the greatest reservations about the terms of reference, powers of investigation and jurisdictional scope of the BMF Inquiry Committee.
This is why many concerned Malaysians had all along called for a Royal of Inquiry into the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal.
I am also surprised by Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin’s statement that the BMF Inquiry Committee would run afoul of the Official Secrets Act if it divulged information about its investigations. The BMF Inquiry Committee was set up by Bank Bumiputra and not by the government, and I do not see why the Official Secrets Act should apply. I would urge the BMF Inquiry committee to be aware of the impatience of the Malaysia n public for the results of its investigations, and the public disenchantment if the final report of the Committee turns out t be a major disappointment.
2. What is Gerakan’s stand and role in the proposal that MCA leave Barisan Nasional until resolution of MCA crisis.
Four nights ago, four major Chinese organisations in Selangor met in Kuala Lumpur discuss the possibility of MCA being asked to 1eave Barisan Nasional and its after—effects on the Chinese community. There was also a proposal to take a common public stand declaring that if MCA leave Barisan Nasional, it would not result in political vacuum which would b disadvantageous to the Chinese community.
I agree with this view, that whether MCA is inside or outside the Barisan Nasional makes no material difference to the Chinese in Malaysia. In fact, in the 40 month since MCA ‘great political breakthrough in the April 1982 general election, there had never been such an unprecedented erosion of the political economic, educational, cultural and religious rights of the Malaysian Chinese. Both the Neo Yee Pan and Tan Koon Swan factions in MCA must bear full responsibility, together with Gerakan, for this political situation and the dilemma faced by the Malaysian Chinese. In fact, looking back at the lest 40 months, I would say that if the MCA had not been in the Barisan Nasional, things could not have been so bad!
However, the basic question unfolding in the country with the approach of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting on August 17 , is whether the internal affairs of MCA, a party which claims to champion the five million Malaysian Chinese, should be solved through the interference or coercion of other political parties representing other communities.
If the UMNO is prepared to concede. in principle as well as in practice, that other partics like MCA and MIC could interfere in UMNO’ s internal party affairs, and amend the UMNO party constitution to put this into effect, then it is all right for UMNO to interfere in MCA’s internal party affairs. Otherwise, a very unhealthy precedent would be set in Malaysia, affecting not only internal party matters but. also policies which have far- reaching consequences on the multi—racial population of the country.
This is why I would say that if the four major Chinese organisations in Selangor should come out with a joint public stand on the MCA’ s being asked to leave Barisan Nasional without touching on this important principle, the joint statement would be missing a fundamental question.
For the same reason, Gerakan’s stand and role in the proposal that MCA leave Barisan Nasional until resolution of the MCA crisis is very interesting. Undoubtedly, both the Tan Koo Swan MCA faction and Gerakan would like MCA to be asked to leave the Barisan Nasional, although for different reasons.
I am not a protagonist or opponent to the idea that MCA be asked to leave the Barisan Nasional. I am more interested in the question as to whether Barisan Nasional is a coalition of equals, or whether the Barisan Nasional concept has developed to a stage where not only UMNO, but even other parties like Gerakan, accept the supremacy of UMNO to interfere in the internal party affairs and leadership decisions component member parties.
Having faced the hangman’s rope twice, Sim should be reprieved from death penalty
The DAP Save Condemned Sim Kie Chon Committee, both at national and state level, have immediately continued in the campaign to secure public support in the mass signature campaign to appeal to the Yang di Pertuan Agong to commute Sim’ s death sentence to life imprisonment.
The stay of execution by the Yang di Pertuan Agong yesterday is not only a respite for
Sim from being executed, it is also a respite for the Save Sim Kie Chon campaign from being brought to an immediate halt.
Sim Kie Chon had faced the hangman’s rope twice, once on July 3 and the second time yesterday, where his family had visited him for the last time and getting ready to collect his corpse the next day.
On this score alone, Sim should be reprieved from his death penalty so that he would not have to go through the agony a third time to face the hangman.
I call on Ma1aysian public of all races and religions to give the fullest support to the DAP’s 250,000—signature campaign to appeal to the Yang di—Pertuan Agong to commute Sim’ s death sentence to life imprisonment.
I want to pay tribute to the DAP Save Sim Kie Chon Campaign Committee, especially its Chairmen, Sdr.Lce Lam Thye, who spearheaded the national campaign for its work so far. I want also to pay tribute to the seven DAP leaders who conducted a 28—hour fast at Chong Wan Kon Temple in Pudu, led by Deputy Secretary-General P.Patto and including Sim Kwang Yang, Director of Political Bureau end MP for Kuching, Hu Sepang, Assistant National Organsiing Secretary and Assemblyman for Rahang, M. Kuppusamay Negri, Sembilan DAP State Secretary and Assemblyman for Rasah, Tan Kok Wai DAP Youth Secretary, Lee Yuen Fong, EP Youth Publicity Secretary and Tai Sin Piau, Selangor DAP Deputy Chairman. I also pay tribute to the Perak DAP leaders, led by Sdr. Lau Dak Kee, Perak Chairman, who conducted a 25— hour hunger strike in Ipoh. Lau Dak Kee’ s group of 13 included Loke Swee Chin (DAP Wanita National Chairman) Yu Yian Kian (Assemblyman for Pantai Remis), Foo Piew Kok (Perak State Organising Secretary), Ngoi Thiam Woh (Perak State Publicity Secretary) and other State leaders like Au Yong Pan, Loh Jee Mee, Lim Yok See, Ahmad Aki, Kalimuthu, Ong Hock Seng, Wong Kuan Chong, and Wu Chong Yu. The 13 DAP Perak ‘hunger—strikers were later joined by some ten other DAP branch leaders