Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Dewan Rakyat during the 1986 Finance Ministry estimates on Friday, 22.11.1985
DAP calls for a special sitting of Parliament to debate the Ahmad Nordin Committee Report on the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal in Hong Kong
On Monday, in reply to a question by the DAP National Chairman and MP for Seremban, Dr. Chen Man Hin, the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, said the government does not intend to submit the report of the Ahmad Nordin Inquiry Committee on the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal in Hong Kong to Parliament for debate.
This is the latest in a long series of systematic government attempt to avoid full public and Parliamentary accountability for the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal, and I want to ask the Finance Minister why the government is afraid to submit the report to Parliament for debate.
In fact, in view of the magnitude of the breach of trust and abuse and misuse of public funds involved, the DAP calls for a special sitting of Parliament to be summoned on the completion of the Ahmad Nordin Inquiry Committee final report, so that a special Parliamentary debate could be held.
I would even suggest that the Public Accounts Committee should summon the BMF Inquiry Committee members to appear in a special hearing on the BMF loan scandal, and to present a special PAC report to Parliament.
Tan sri Ahmad Nordin, the Chairman of the Inquiry Committee, had recently indicated that his committee’s final report would be completed next month. I ask the Finance Minister to assure Malaysians that the Ahmd Nordin BMF Committee’s final report would be released to the public in full without any delay, and in any event, should not take more than a week’s after its submission to Bank Bumiputra and the authorities.
Malaysians have had enough of cover-ups, evasions and half-trusts from the government about the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal, and they have a right to expect that the Malaysian government be open and forthright with them for once in the final report of the BMF scandal.
Call to Malaysian government to offer subsidy to the Hong Kong Government to continue investigations into Carrian probe because of the BMF scandal
Early this month, there was disturbing news from the British colony that the Hong Kong Finance Secretary, Sir John Bremridge, had said he was ‘horrified’ at the escalating costs of the Carrian investigations, and that the Hong Kong government may have to halt investigations to save public money.
The Hong Kong Government had spent so far M$14.5 million, and the Carrian trial, which begins in late February, will cost the taxpayer about M$8.7 million for a six-month trial.
The Malaysian Government must officially convey to the Hong Kong government its concern at the Hong Kong government’s unwillingness to reluctance to pursue the Carrian probe to its final end, especially in view of the vast $2.5 billion lost by the BMF and Bank Bumiputra in the British colony, the murder of a Bank Bumiputra official, Jalil Ibrahim, and the integrity of Malaysian public servants in banking and finance.
Malaysian government leaders, including the Finance Minister and the Attorney-General, had repeatedly said that Malaysia would give all help to the Hong Kong authorities to bring the BMF culprits to book.
I would suggest to the Finance Minister to inform the Hong Kong authorities is money is the only problem standing in the way of the fullest probe into Carrian, which will throw light on the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, the Malaysian government is prepared to subsidise the Hong Kong authorities in the expenses of the investigation. And the DAP MPs are prepared to vote in Parliament for a funding of the Hong Kong government in the Carrian investigation, provided that the results of investigations are turned over to the Malaysian authorities and the public, for Malaysia must leave no stone unturned, or allow any expenditure, to get to the very bottom of the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal.
It would be most unfortunate however, if in Hong Kong, justice is computed strictly in monetary terms.
INCREASED PETROLEUM OUTPUT
The 18.6% increase in petroleum production from 430,000 bpd this year to 510,000 bpd next year has become the lynch-pin of the government’s revenue-raising strategy. Unfortunately, in less than a month since the budget presentation on Oct.25, this revenue-raising strategy seems to have come apart, with the threatened collapse of OPEC cartel and a oil price war next year. Petroleum industry analysts are already talking about the possibility of the petroleum price to below US$20 or even US$15 per barrel.
In this context, the statement by the former Prime Minister and Petronas adviser, Tun Hussein Onn, that Malaysia may have to increase its production of petroleum beyond its targeted level of 510,000 bpd next year if the price of oil drops below US$24 per barrel seems to reflect government thinking and strategy on revenue dependence on petroleum.
Are we going to break even the 600,000 bpd petroleum output next year to make up for shortfall of petroleum revenue – the mainstay of government revenue strategy?
When in December last year, the Finance Minister announced a 40,000 bpd cut in oil production as a ‘gesture of support to OPEC’, an Petronas official boasted that ‘by making a small reduction now we are making world news with our contribution and are earning the gratitude of OPEC’.
He explained Malaysia should not produce as much petroleum as possible to reap miximum revenue in the shortest possible time, as if all other countries followed suit, including OPEC members, oil prices might tumble to US$15 or even US$10 per barrel. In his words, “We would then have to produce twice or three times our present level of production to obtain the same level of revenue.”
I want to ask why this stand of Petronas and the government about the government revenue strategy from petroleum only early this year had been abandoned completely, and we are now prepared to produce more petroleum to get less revenue?