Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the inaugural protest meeting at the non-publication of the BMF Inquiry final report organized by the DAP held at Transport Workers’Union Hall, Petaling Jaya on Monday, Dec. 30, 1985 at 8 p.m.
Lim Kit Siang to ask for appointment with Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed on his return from holidays overseas on refusal by government to release BMF final report so far
It is now three weeks since the completion and submission of the BMF Inquiry Committee final report to Bank Bumiputra and the authorities, but although the Prime Minister pledged that the government had nothing to hide on the BMF loans scandal, there is no indication that the final report would be made public.
In fact, whatever indications exist point to the government’s refusal to make the final report public, even if it means going back on the repeated government promises that the final report would be published if banking secrecy provisions are not violated.
The strongest indication of the government’s reluctance to make the report public comes from the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib, and a few days ago, the UMNO Youth Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who even suggested that the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee should make the report public itself and be responsible for its contents.
Anwar Ibrahim should know that the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee was established by Bank Bumiputra under the directive of the Government to report to Bank Bumiputra on various specific terms of reference, which does not give the Inquiry Committee the powers to make public the final report itself.
If Anwar Ibrahim is sincere in his suggestion, and not trying to suppress the final report yet giving the impression that he still favours its being made public, he should get the Cabinet on Wednesday to expand the scope of the terms of reference of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee to allow it the power to decide whether to make the final report public on its own or not. If Anwar Ibrahim is not prepared to get Cabinet to extend the life of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee with the power to decide on the publication of its reports, then Anwar Ibrahim is being dishonest and insincere.
Call on Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Tan Sri Bashir Ismail, and former chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, to explain why they allowed the writs for recovery of $330 million from George Tan to lapse.
It was reported yesterday that seven Bank Bumiputra and BMF writs against Carrian boss George Tan were allowed to lapse, three days before the resignation of the Bank Bumiputra former chairman, Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, on Dec.31, 1984, when the writs were for recovery of US$138 million ($330 million) in loans Tan had stood guarantor for.
Coming on top of the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, this must have shocked Malaysians that the new board under the former chairman Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin, did not appear to be keen or zealous at all to recover monies from George Tan for $330 million although the writs were taken out. Were the writs taken out in early 1984 just to give the Malaysian public the illusion that the Bank Bumiputra was doing its utmost to revoer money- when the fact was opposite.
Dr. Nawawi Mat Awin owe Malaysians an explanation as to why he allowed the writs involving recovery of $330 million to lapse. Even the present Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Tan Sri Bashir Ismail, must explain why his Board which took over from Dr. Nawawi did not pursue the claims by taking out new writs for the recovery of $330 million from George Tan?
I am sure the BMF Inquiry Committee final report must have thrown further light on this scandal of the BMF scandal, and this is why Malaysians want the report to be made public.
I will ask for an appointment with the Prime Minister, Datuk seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, when he returns from holidays overseas to discuss the government’s refusal so far to make public the BMF final report. The DAP will launch nation-wide protest meetings at government’s refusal to make public the BMF reports.