DAP calls on Cabinet on Wednesday to redeem public confidence by deciding on the immediate full publication of the BMF final report

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, January 19, 1986:

DAP calls on Cabinet on Wednesday to redeem public confidence by deciding on the immediate full publication of the BMF final report

Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, has called on the people to be patient and wait for the Cabinet’s decision whether the BMF final report would be made public. Daim Zainuddin and the other Cabinet Ministers should realise that the $2.5 billion BMF loans scandal has now a seven-year- long history, and public patience is wearing thin at the continued procrastination of the government to give a full public accounting.

Yesterday, in Sungai Petani, National and Rural Development Minister, Datuk Sanusi Junid, warned of a new crisis developing among the rakyat – the erosion of the fabric of society – from the attitude of the people, especially the younger generation, who ignored the ethics and norms that were once the hallmark of our society. As example, Datuk Sanusi said the young no longer give priority to respecting elders nowadays.

There will be an even greater crisis undermining the whole fabric of Malaysian society if the top government leaders ignore their ethical duties to be honest, upright and sincere. For this reason, the Cabinet must at its meeting on Wednesday, 22rd January 1986 redeem public confidence in the government by deciding on the immediate full publication of the BMF final report, which had been promised by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed.

The Cabinet must recognise that there is no defence or justification possible for the government to declare that it has no objection to the publication of the BMF final report if Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin would accept responsibility for its publication, and when Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin takes up the challenge in the national interest of upholding the principle of public accountability, the government backs out protesting that it must be satisfied that it is safe to do so.

This reminds me of the Watergate scandal in America in the early 1970s, when bowing to mounting pressure for a full inquiry because of increasing revelations of the high crimes being committed by the American government of President Nixon, Nixon finally succumbed by appointing a Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox to investigate the Watergate scandal. Nixon assured the Special Prosecutor and the American public that the American government would give fullest freedom and co-operation to the investigation, but when Archibald’s investigations brought him closer and closer to the White House, Nixon sacked him to halt the investigations. This provoked a nation-wide protest, with Americans ringing up the White House to protest, jamming the White House exchange.

All Ministers must realise that they bear a very heavy national responsibility and duty on Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, for the government would be faced with a double crisis – crisis of confidence and crisis of legitimacy-if the Cabinet is not prepared to decide on the immediate of the BMF final report.

DAP lauds Bank Negara for co-operating with Hong Kong government to trace the over $100 million sent by Carrian-related companies to Maiaysia before 1982

DAP lauds the Bank Negara which, according to Star report today, he agreed to help the Hong Kong Government investigators track well over $100 million reportedly sent by Carrian-related companies to Malaysia before 1902.

The total amount which Carrian companies or its boss George Tan’s firms were believed to have sent – in varying sums of millions and thousands of dollars over a three-year period – were either for investment in Malaysia or the purchase of shell-companies and properties in Malaysia.

The Hong Kong investigators are now interested in establishing where and to which companies or to whom the monies went and in the process establish certain aspects of the complex dealings of Bumiputra Malaysia Finance and the Carrian Group which took the bulk of BMF’s $205 billion Hong Kong loans.

It is believed that leads for these investigations came from the various briefs and reports of the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee. The co-operation of Bank Negara and the various banks were necessary to pursue these leads to track the whereabouts of the over $100 million.

In fact, it is not just to the interest of the Hong Kong investigators to trace the whereabouts of these well over $100 million sent by Carrian-related companies to Malaysia before 1982, it is to Malaysians national interest to do so.

Bank Negara should not only fully help the Hong Kong investigators, but should have asked the Government for a Royal Commission of Inquiry with full and untrammelled powers to trace these hundreds of millions of public Malaysian money.

Banking secrecy provisions can never be allowed to be used a cover to protect high crimes, corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

The right of banks to secrecy in its dealings with its clients is not an absolute one, but a qualified one, subject to various exceptions, one of which is that it must give way to ‘public interests. Surely there is no higher ‘public interest’ than to trace the whereabouts of the over $100 million from Carrian-related companies which were the fruits of fraud and corruption.

I call on the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, to give the assurance that the Bank Negara and the Government authorities would fully co-operate with the Hong Kong investigators to track the whereabouts and history of the over $100 million sent over to Malaysia by the Carrian-related companies before1982.