Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP BMP Protest ceramah held at Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, January 18, 1986 at 9 p.m.
Lim Kit Siang cables Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir to remind him of his undertaking that the Government would immediately publish the BMF final report if Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin accepts responsibility for its publication.
Yesterday, I sent a cable to the Prime Minister, Datuk Sri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, reminding him of his undertaking when I met him at the Prime Minister’s Office on 6th January 1986 that the government has no objection to the publication of the BMF final report if Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin accepts the responsibility for its publication.
In fact, the Prime Minister told me to tell the waiting reporters that it is his stand that the government would immediately publish the final report once Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin is prepared to publicly accept responsibility for its publication.
I had offered to take up the responsibility of publishing the BMF final report if he would give me a copy, in response to his statement two days earlier that ‘if somebody would accept responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report’, the government would have no objection to its full publication. Datuk Seri Mahathir refused on the ground that he was referring specifically to Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin when he spoke about ‘somebody’ accepting responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report.
Now that Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou have stated their preparedness to take responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report, all that is needed to be done is for the Prime Minister to give Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou a note in writing that the government has no objections to their making public the BMF final report on their own account, or for the Bank Bumiputra to do so on government direction. The other method for the government to publish the report now that Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou have fulfilled the precondition.
I do not see how Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed could honourably back out now. He has now two choices; to honour his word that the government would allow Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou to publish the BMF final report or resign as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
In fact, Anwar Ibrahim is now in the same position. As he had taken the stand that it is the BMF Inquiry Committee which must publish the BMF final report on its own account, as there is no reason why the government should defend the BMF final report, I do not see how he could honourably remain as a Cabinet Minister and UMNO Youth Leader if the government now refuses to give Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou the authority to do so, or waive the government and Bank Bumiputra’s proprietory right over the BMF final report by expressing in writing that they have no objection to the publication of the BMP final report by Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou.
The Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, can forget about his two-week assignment of giving his opinion and views to the Cabinet as to whether the government should release the BMF final report, for this has been completely overtaken by two events: namely, the preparedness of the Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou to accept responsibility for their publication, and the Hong Kong Government stand that the publication of the Ahmad Nordin BMF final report would not prejudice the BMF, Carrian, George Tan, Lorraine Osman, Hashim Shamsuddin trials there.
When Cabinet meets next Wednesday on January 22, 1986, it has to decide, if the matter had not been resolved by then, whether it is going to honour Cabinet decision that Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou could go ahead to publish the BMP final report, provided they accept responsibility, or whether the entire Cabinet is to resign on an important point of principle as well as honour.
Or is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, contemplating going to the country by dissolving Parliament on this one very issue?