Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka in Penang on Thursday, 25.1.1386 at 12 noon
DAP proposes a special parliamentary sitting on the BMF final report in mid-February and the establishment of a Special Parliamentary Inquiry Committee to conduct further investigations on the basis of the BMF final report
While I have welcomed the Cabinet decision yesterday to the full BMF final report in the next meeting of parliament on March 10, I note that the Government had not given any assurance that there would be full and adequate time for a special parliamentary debate on the final report.
When the BMF final report is tabled in parliament on March 10, it would mean that it would be after three months of the completion and submission of the BMF final report by the Ahmad Nordin BMP Inquiry Committee to the authorities. Such a length of time is unwarranted as it would seem to indicate a lack of sense of urgency about the $2.5 billion BMF scandal.
The DAP calls for a special parliamentary sitting on the BMF final report in mid-February, especially as according to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Mahathir Mohamad, in his reply to the joint memorandum by Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sow undertaking to assume responsibility for the publication of the BMF final report, “the report in the form you submitted needs further investigations.”
The public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Ismail Said, has said that the PAC is prepared to further investigate the BMF loans scandal if directed to do so by Parliament. I note that ALIRAN President, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, has also suggested in today’s press that parliament should direct the PAC to further investigate the BMF scandal if warranted by the BMF final report.
I do not think that the PAC would be the best body to conduct further investigation on behalf of Parliament into the undetermined areas highlighted by the BMF final report.
This is because up till now, the PAC of this Sixth parliament has not be able to produce a single complete report of its investigations into the Auditor General’s Reports on the Federal Government Accounts dating back to 1978.
If the PAC now assumes farther responsibility for investigation into the BMF final report, with its backlog of unreported inquiries going back to 1978, it may only be able to report in the 1990s!
I suggest therefore the establishment of a Special parliamentary Inquiry Committee to conduct further investigations into the BMF scandal based on the BMP final report, and this Special Parliamentary Inquiry Committee should be given three months to table its report to Parliament.
This is why if a special parliamentary meeting is summoned in mid-February, the report should be tabled in mid-May, Parliament would be abdicating its responsibility to be the custodian of the rights and interests of the people and nation if it does not pursue further investigations into the uncharted areas highlighted by the BMF final report. A Special Parliamentary Inquiry Committee would be suprior to the BMF inquiry Committee because it would enjoy powers and privileges equivalent to a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Of course, the Special Parliamentary Committee must be heeded and comprised Parliamentarians who would command the respect and confidence of the people that they would pursue the investigations without fear or favour.
March general election impossible
On Monday night, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, summoned an emergency meeting of Mentri-Mentri Besar in Kuala Lumpur. I believe at that meeting, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir must have leaned very hard on the option of having a March general elections, and I had two days ago forecast March 20, 1986 as a possible election date.
Since then, the Prime Minister must have realised that the failure of the government to honour its pledge to make public the BMF final report would have created nation-wide revulsion, and would cost the Barisan Nasional dearly in terms of electoral support in the general elections.
Furthermore, the detention of MCA President, Tan Koon Swan, in Singapore in connection with the Pan El scandal has deepened the Barisan National’s political problems.
These two factors must have swayed the Prime Minister against a March election date, which is now impossible, if Dewan Rakyat is to sit from March 10 to April 4, as had been summoned in a Parliamentary notice yesterday. Dewan Negara is summoned to meet from April 7-18. March 10 will be the fourth Official Opening of Parliament by the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
There is nothing to stop the Prime Minister from cutting short the parliamentary meeting before the full term, dissolving Parliament and go to the polls. But this would be in extremely bad taste.
The earliest date for the elections assaying that Dewan Rakyat sits from March 20 to April 4 would be in May, with possible scenario of Dissolution on 15th April, Nomination on April 23 and Polling on May 8.
Triang case the first I have come across where a Chinese schoolboy was forced to embrace Islam and taken away from family and parents
Up to now, I have only come across cases of Chinese girls, whether in school or workplace, who have not come of age, who had been forced to embrace Islam and taken away from their family and home, with their parents deprived of their rights of guardianship.
The Triang case in Pahang, concerns a 16-year Schoolboy, Hock Tang, disappered from his home on Nov.28, abd his father later discovered that he had been converted into Islam and had been unable to see his son for the last two months. The police had refused to help the parents to recover the son, on the ground that this is a religious matter.
This is the first case where a boy while still minor below 18 years had been taken away from the- parents. It is clear that very grave fundamental rights of the Malaysian Chinese are at stake. The Malaysian Chinese are not only fast losing their basic rights in the country, whether politically, economically, educationally, culturally, but are also losing their sons and daughters.
The MCA dare to hold a demonstration outside the Singapore High Commission to protest against the detention of Ton Koon Swan. They would do the people more good if they hold a demonstration outside the Prime Minister’s Office to protest against the spate of forced conversion of Chinese minors in schools and elsewhere and at the deprivation of the rights of the Malaysian Chinese parents over the control and charge of their sons and daughters.