Australia would lose considerable goodwill in Malaysia if it proceed to deprive over 300 Malaysian students higher education opportunities with new pre–selection exercise without giving prior notice

Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1985

Australia would lose considerable goodwill in Malaysia if it proceed to deprive over 300 Malaysian students higher education opportunities with new pre–selection exercise without giving prior notice

Australia will lose considerable goodwill in Malaysia if the Australian government allows the Overseas Student Office (OSO) in Canberra to deprive over 300 Malaysian Students higher education opportunities with the use of a new pre-selection test without giving prior notice.

As a result, the students who received their rejection letters when the Australian matriculation examination results had not been announced is not only unfair, it would mean the loss of one year of studies and expenses by the affected students, who would not face difficulties in finding new outlets for higher studies.

The Australian government has the right to determine the selection test for Malaysian students intending to pursue higher studies there, but it must act fairly. I have sent a cable to the Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, asking him to overrule the Overseas Students Office’s decision to implement the new pre-selection test without giving prior notice. There is no objection if the new pre-selection test is used for new students intending to go to Australia for higher studies in 1987.

The Education Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi, should also give personal attention to the plight of the affected students. He should disclose the number of government scholars to be sent to Australia for higher studies next year, and whether the government is prepared to release the places reserved for government scholars for the rejected private students- while placing the government scholars in the local institutions of higher learning.

BMF Final Report- why Daim and Bashir taking such a long time o get a copy

The Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, said yesterday that he had not ‘even seen’ the final report of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee. The Chairman of the Bank Bumiputra, Tan Sri Bashir Ismail, also said yesterday that he had not seen the report yet.

I get the impression that both the Finance Minister and the Bank Bumiputra Chairman are not keen to get to read the final report, which I consider most unusual. If I were them, I would cancel all my engagements on Monday, when the Report was submitted, to read it because the BMF scandal is the biggest banking and financial scandal in Malaysia, and had tarnished Malaysia’s financial reputation and integrity both nationally and internationally.
I hope my impression that both Daim and Tan Sri Bashir are trying to drag their feetl over the BMF Final Report is misconceived. Surely, Malaysians are not going to wait for more weeks to pass before the promised released of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Final Report.

UNICO shareholders who are not satisfied with the UNICO Directors’ decision to buy 30 per cent stake in Grand United could consider taking an injunction to restrain the deal

The UNICO Holdings Bhd.’s main board of directors yesterday gave its unanimous backing to the proposed move to take at least 30 per cent equity of Grand United Holdings regardless of the outcome of the Pan Electric Industries Affair.

The decision seem to be quite ‘fool-hardy’ and reckless, not made in the full interest of the 25,000 shareholders who made up the $50 million paid-up capital with their small investments averaging $1,000 to $2,000. The Pan El crisis triggered off the biggest stock market crash in Malaysian and Singapore stock exchange history, causing $10.8 billion of share values to be wiped out when the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange re-opened last Thursday after three-day suspension.

According to one report, the valuation of the Grand United shares for the UNICO deal would be about the value of the shares just before suspension with a premium attached.

Before the suspension, Grand United’s share was traded at $1.19, and it would have fallen to 60 cents if it had not been suspended at the company’s own request.

Despite the denial of Tan Sri Wee Boon Ping, the president of Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce (ACCIM) and Chairman of the UNICO Board of Directors, the Malaysian Chinese cannot help regard the UNICO move as an attempts to salvage Tan Koon Swan’s business empire.

The UNICO directors should not forget that they collectively, out of all 16 directors, own only one per cent of the $50 million paid-up capital, and that they have a public trust and responsibility to the 25,000 UNICO shareholders to exercise the greatest prudence and sound judgement in committing UNICO in any future venture.

The question every one of the 16 Directors should answer to the 25,000 shareholders is whether they would commit their personal companies to purchase Grand United’s shares at the price before the suspension, regardless of the outcome of the Pan El crisis?

Anyone of the 25,000 shareholders who feels that his rights and interested are not being served by the [email protected] Grand United deal have various remedies, including the demand for the calling of a shareholders’ general meeting, or even to seek a court injunction to restrain the UNIC @ Grand United deal from proceeding until shareholders approved the transaction.