Scandalous that not a single person had been arrested and punished for the $2.5 billion BMF scandal which is in its sixth year

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lira Kit Siang, at the DAP PJ Old Town Committee meeting in PJ on Monday, 27th January 1986 at 7 p.m.

Scandalous that not a single person had been arrested and punished for the $2.5 billion BMF scandal which is in its sixth year

UMNO Youth Leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said in Kepala Batas on Sunday that the Opposition, in particular the DAP, would be disappointed when the BMF final report is tabled in Parliament in March expecting it to demonstrate the government’s mistakes.

I find Anwar’s statement, made at a Bertam UMNO Youth dinner, most baffling. Is Anwar trying to say that when the BMF final report is tabled in Parliament, it would show that the government is not responsible for the $2.5 billion BMF scandal?

If the government is not responsible, then is he suggesting that the Opposition, in particular the DAP, is responsible? Or nobody is responsible?

As the government responsible for the Bank Bumiputra and the public funds involved, the government cannot absolve its responsibility for allowing the $2.5 billion BMF scandal to happen, whether directly or indirectly.

The DAP had demanded for the full publication of the BMF final report, not because we expect top UMNO leaders to be blamed for being responsible for the BMF scandal, but because of the principle of public accountability, and to uphold the right of the Malaysian public to know how $2.5 billion of public money was lost in Hong Kong and who was responsible for it.

I personally do not believe that the BMP final report named top political leaders as directly responsible for the BMF scandal, but from the press conference statement of Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin when announcing the completion of the BMF final report and the Prime Minister’s reply to the joint memorandum by Tan Sri Ahmad Nordin and Chooi Mun Sou, it is clear that there are still areas which require further investigation.

This is why I had suggested that there should be a Parliamentary Special Inquiry Committee into the BMF scandal based on the BMF final report, to fill in the blanks left behind by the Ahmad Nordin BMF inquiry Committee.

Let me therefore tell Anwar Ibrahim that the DAP is hot going to be disappointed as to what is in the BMF final report, when it is not a final and conclusive inquiry into the BMF scandal.

I welcome Anwar’s statement that the UMNO Youth wants everyone guilty of wrongdoing in the BMF scandal to be punished.

I want to know whether Anwar and UMNO Youth would agree that it is most scandalous that not a single person in Malaysia had been arrested or punished for the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, which is in its sixth year having started in 1979.

Would UMNO Youth send a delegation ho meet the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, to protest against the government’s failure to arrest and punish a single person so far for the $2.5 billion BMF scandal?

I want to advise Anwar Ibrahim that the UMNO Youth’s stand will be tested not by just having the BMF final report tabled in Parliament, but by its preparedness to give full support for the most thorough public accounting of the BMF scandal, including the establishment of a Parliamentary Special BMF Inquiry committee to take over from where the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry Committee ended.
Hope that Tan Koon Swan could return home Malaysia for Chinese New Year

The DAP, and I in particular, had been accused, by irresponsible MCA leaders and branches which try to politicise the whole issue, as being responsible for the Singapore arrest of Tan Koon Swan.

Thinking Malaysians will not give a second to such baseless and ridiculous suggestions, but the irresponsible MCA leaders ,and branches hope that by shouting the lie a thousand times that the DAP had connived with Singapore for the arrest of Tan Koon Swan, some people would be misled into believing it.

Although I disagree with Tan Koon Swan’s politics and political leadership, there is nothing personal between us. Personally, I hope that Tan Koon Swan would be able to return home to Malaysia for the Chinese New Year. In fact, I find there is considerable merit in the suggestion by a MCA Petaling division official, deputy secretary Ho Sai Kong, who suggested that the entire MCA stand guarantor for Tan Koon Swan’s appearance in the Singapore court to answer the charges against him.

Tan Koon Swan, in his resignation letter as MCA President addressed to the MCA Central Committee, which had been rejected, himself stressed that his criminal breach of trust charges and Pan El problems are his ‘personal problem’ and should not involve the party directly.

I hope therefore the MCA leaders would not force the DAP to retaliate by launching a nation-wide political counter-attack because of the baseless charges that the DAP is responsible for Tan Koon Swan’s arrest in Singapore.

If the BAP or I had been responsible for Tan Koon Swan’s arrest in Singapore, the Special Branch in Malaysia would have already arrested me for conspiring with a foreign country. I do not have a very high regard for government departments generally, but I believe that the Special Branch is one of the most efficient government unit.

I would normally be quite flattered that there are people who think I could direct Lee Kuan Yew to do my biddinq, except that this lie is most vicious and malicious aimed not only at undermining the public reputation of the DAP, but to damage Malaysia-Singapore relations.

UMNO Vice President and Barisan Nasional Secretary-General, Ghaffar Baba, had himself said yesterday that Tan Koon Swan’s arrest in Singapore has nothing to do with politics, but a matter of the process of law.

I hope MCA leaders would therefore concentrate on the basic problems of the future of the Malaysian Chinese, who are facing an unprecedented erosion of their fundamental rights, instead of looking for distractions from these crucial issues for the community and the nation.