Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, at the PSRM forum on BMF: Bersih dan Amanah? held at the Panggong Dewan Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 24th January 1986
DAP calls on the Government to table in March Parliament all the eight reports prepared by the Ahmad Nordin Inquiry Committee on the $2.5 billion BMF scandal
Yesterday, at the illegal public rally in Seremban, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, launched the Barisan Nasional’s political offensive against those who demand the full disclosure of the $2.5 billion BMF scandal and the publication of the BMP final report as people who are only out for ‘political gain’.
The people who are thinking solely of ‘political gain’ are those who want to suppress the BMF final report and deny the principle of public accountability and the right of the people to know, for they fear that if the BMF final report is published and there is a full public accounting of the BMF loans scandal, they would suffer major loss of electoral support.
In wanting to deny the Malaysian, people the right to know about the whole story of the BMF scandal, these people want ‘political gain’ for they fear ‘political loss’!
The government’s record in the whole BMF scandal is one of consistent attempt to suppress the BMF scandal. The government would have succeeded in suppressing public knowledge of the BMF scandal and the $205 billion losses if not for two factors: firstly, the BMF scandal took place outside Malaysia in Hong Kong, which made it impossible for the government to fully control events and developments. Secondly, the murder outside Malaysia again of Ibrahim Jalil, the BMF Assistant General Manager in Hong Kong, which led to the Hong Kong seizure of the BMF documents, the arrest and arraignment of George Tan and the full public exposre of the scandal.
Up till now, we can see distinct phases in the government’s consistent attempt to suppress or minimise the area of disclosure of the BMF scandal.
The Cabinet’s decision this Wednesday to make public the BMF final report in Parliament, to be accompanied by a White Paper is the result of relentless public pressure demanding its disclosure and that the government must fulfil its promise that it has nothing to hide. It was a victory of the people and the hard struggle for public accountability on the BMF scandal.
But the battle is not over. Firstly, I do not know whether adequate time would be given to MPs for a full and untrammelled debate on the BMF final report and the BMF scandal. Secondly, the Prime Minister himself had said in his reply to the joint memorandum from Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou that the BMF final report indicated that there are areas for further investigation.
I suggest that there should be a Parliamentary Special Inquiry Committee to conduct further investigations into the BMF scandal based on the BMF final report, which should be given three months to table its report to Parliament. Persons named in the BMF final report, who feel that they had been improperly mentioned with unwarranted insinuations, would have an opportunity to clear their names before the Parliamentary Special Inquiry Committee on the BMF scandal.
In its two years’ of work, the BMF Inquiry Committee completed eight reports. So far two had been published – the Interim Report and the Brief on Prima facie cases of corruption – while a third, the BMP final report, await tabling in Parliament in March. I call on the Government to formally table in Parliament in March all the eight reports so that the people and nation could know fully the magnitude of the $2.5 billion BMF scandal.