Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the Malacca DAP BMF Protest ceramah held at KEN Seng Charitable Association Hall on Sunday, January 12, 1986 at 9 pm.
DAP warns that the refusal of government to make public the BMF final report would be regarded by the people as a repudiation of the 1982 general election pledge of Barisan Nasional for a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy’ government
It is now over a month since the submission of the BMF final report by the Ahmad Nordin Inquiry Committee to the government authorities, but the government is still dragging its feet to do its utmost to suppress its full publication.
The three reasons the government had advanced so far to try to justify non-publication of the BMF final report, the banking secrecy provisions, likely to prejudice the Hong Kong prosecution of BMF directors and the likelihood of libel action against the government, are without real basis.
I had already told the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed when I met him last Monday to discuss the BMF final report that the presentation of the BMF final report as a command paper in Parliament would give absolute privilege to the government and fulfil the government’s pledge to the people about full disclosure and accountability.
From the latest statements made by the Ministers, in particular Datuk Rais Yatim, the Information Minister, after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, it would appear that the Prime Minister is also backing out of his earlier statement that if somebody is prepared to take the responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report, the government has no objection to its full publication.
I had asked the Prime Minister to give me a copy of the BMF final report as I was prepared seriously to consider taking the responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report in the national interest, but the Prime Minister refused to give me a copy. He said that he meant. Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin when he made that statement.
Is the Prime Minister prepared to stand by his challenge to Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin that the Committee members could make public the report and the government would not have any objections. Is the Prime Minister prepared to give the BMF Inquiry Committee in writing the authority to make public the BMF final report?
I do not think that there would be any libel or other litigation action if the BMF final report is made public, either by the Ahmad Nordin Committee of Inquiry members or by anyone else. except may be by the the Bank Bumiputra and the government itself. Could Bank Bumiputra and the government give a clear public position that they would not be the ones who would want to sue the Committee of Inquiry?
The Barisan Nasional government may have a vested partisan interest not to make public the BMF final report, especially in view of tie coming general elections. The DAP must warn that the government refusal to make public the full BMF final report would be regarded by the people as a repudiation of the 1982 general elections pledge of the Barisan Nasional for a ‘clean, efficient and trustworthy government !
The government’s refusal to make public the BMF final report would also reinforce public suspicion that highly-placed government and political leaders are involved in the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, for it is highly unbelievable that five or six BMF directors or employees could involve Bank Bumiputra in a $2.5 billion scandal. The BMF directors and employees in Hong Kong do not have $2.5 billion to disburse, but must get the monies from Bank Bumiputra headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and its branches in Singapore, London, Paris, Washington, etc. Who gave the authority for the transfer of such funds?