Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the second DAP BMF Protest meeting held at Penang Chinese Town Hall, Penang on Tuesday, Dec.31, 1985 at 8 p.m.
DAP calls on Daim Zainuddin to resign as Finance Minister if the Cabinet refuses to honour his pledge of Dec.10 that the government would make the BMF final report. Public if it did not breach the banking secrecy provisions.
After the Ahman Nordim BMF Inquiry Committee completed its BMF final report and submitted it to the authorities on Dec. 9, 1985, the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, told reporters after launching the Employees’ Investment Co-operative of Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad Group at Menara Bumiputra, Kuala Lumpur, that the government would make public the BMF Inquiry Committee final report if itt did not breach the banking secrecy provisions.
It would appear that since then, the Finance Minister had been overruled by other Cabinet Ministers and top government leaders. On 11th December 1985, the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, expressed opposition to making the BMF final report public on the ground that it would prejudice the prosecution of the two former BMF Directors, Lorraine Osman and Datuk Hashim Shamsuddin.
We even have the unusual spectacle of the Chairman of Bank Bumiputra, Tan Sri Haji Basir Ismail, who was appointed by and subservient to the Finance Minister, daring to express contrary view from that of Daim Zainuddin by stating that he was inclined to agree with Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman that the final BMF report should not be made public yet, in view of its effect on the prosecution case.
It is worthy of note that both the Attorney-General and the Bank Bumiputra Chairman are no more talking about banking secrecy provisions, for the Ahmad Nordim BMF Inquiry Committee had clearly anticipated and pre-empted this objection to making the final report public, by getting a Queen’s Counsel’s opinion and guidance, so that the final report could be made public without in any way breaching banking secrecy.
Banking secrecy is to protect the confidential relationship between the bank and the customer. In this case, the liquidator of the Carrian Group, Arthur Young in Hong Kong, have publicly stated that they have no objections to making available the BMF final report to other interested parties or the general public.
Clearly, banking secrecy provisions cannot stand in the way of making public the BMF final report. This is why those in government who are opposed to making the BMF final report had to think of new reasons- including the prejudice its publication could cause to the Hong Kong prosecution of the two former BMF directors.
But in this case, clearly the best judge must be the Hong Kong Attorney-General and not the Malaysian Attorney-General, and as the Hong Kong prosecution authorities have no objection to the BMF final report being made public, the Malaysian Attorney-General have no locus standi whatsoever to object!
The latest spokesman for the Government opposing the publication of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee final report is shockingly the UMNO Youth Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who had in his ABTM days crusaded against corruption, lack of public integrity and accountability and all forms of moral decay.
I would call on Daim Zainuddin to resign as Finance Minister if the Cabinet refuses to honour his pledge of Dec.10, 1985 that the government would make the BMF final report public if it did not breach the banking secrecy provisions.
The finance Minister must take a firm stand against his other Cabinet colleagues who are opposed to the publication of the BMF final report because they see the matter from the petty party political point of view, and not from the national interest, or who are demanding that the BMF final report should not under any circumstances be published before the next general elections.
The Finance Minister should impress on his other Cabinet colleagues that he had said on Dec. 10 that the government had nothing to hide and the government would make public the final report , The refusal of the Cabinet to release the BMF final report could only mean that the Cabinet has something to hide!
Why no positive action was taken to save $360 million in 1982
Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin told the press on 8th December 1985 that at least US$150 million ($360 million) could have been saved if ‘positive action’ had been taken when Bank Negara carried out its inspection of BMF in 1982, at a time when Carrian was having liquidity problems. Loans of US$1.2 billion were given out during the period.
Malaysians have a right to know the whole story of the BMF scandal, and this is why the DAP has launched the nation-wide campaign to mobilise Malaysians to demand for the BMF final report to be made public.
Malaysians must now come forward to tell the government in no uncertain terms that they want the BMF final report to be made public without any more delay, for what is involved is not merely the goings-on of one financial institution, but the entire integrity, credibility and reputation of Malaysia as a people and as a nation.
The government tak about its determination to fight graft, corruption, public dishonesty would be completely hollow if in the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, it refuses to make public the BMF final report and has taken no action to date against any individual.
The DAP is demanding for the BMF final report to be made public also because we want to see that Jalil Ibrahim does not die in vain. Jalil was clearly murdered because he stood in the way of those who wanted to perpetrate another great scandal- the cover-up of the $2.5 billion BMF scandal.
Although Klang businessman Mak Foon Than had been found guilty amd sentenced to death for the murder of Jalil Ibrahim, and his appeal to the Privy Council was recently rejected, the question uppermost in the minds of Malaysians is who are the people who are in complicity with Mak Foon Than in causing Jalil Ibrahim’s murder.
15 Organisiations to meet on January 2 to plan protest campaign against non-publication of BMF final report
Although the DAP has launched its nation-wide protest campaign against the non-publication of the BMF final report, it is also a signatory of a joint statement by 15 Organisations demanding that the government make a decision on the publication of the BMF final report before Dec.31.
The DAP will participate fully in the protest campaign of the 15 organisations apart from holding our own protest campaign. The 15 organisations will be meeting in Kuala Lumpur on January 2, 1986 to work out plans for the joint protest campaign to force the government to honour its pledge to make public the BMF final report.