by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, March 18, 1986:
DAP Human Rights Committee has set up a Special Committee headed by Sim Kwang Yang, MP for Bandar Kuching, to spearhead national agitation against the Official Secrets Act amendment
The Proposed amendment to the Official Secrets Act 1972 to make it a mandatory one-year minimum jail sentence for any offence under the Act is the greatest threat to democratic rights and press freedom in Malaysia since Merdeka.
The DAP calls on all Malaysians, whether organisations or individuals, to take a firm stand against the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill 1986, and to demand its withdrawal.
If the 1986 Official Secrets Act amendment bill is enacted, Malaysians would have lost their rights to free information which is a pre-condition to an open and democratic society.
The DAP is unequivocally opposed to the 1986 Bill to amend the Official Secrets Act. For this reason, the DAP Human Rights Committee has set up a Special Committee, headed by DAP MP for Bandar Kuching and Director of Political Bureau, Sdr. Sim Kwang Yang, to spearhead national agitation and opposition to the Official Secrets Act amendment.
The DAP Oppose Official Secrets Act Amendment Committee (the DAP OOSAA Committee) comprise the following:
Chairman: Sim Kwang Yang
Vice Chairman: Fadzlan Yahya
Secretary: Gooi Hock Seng
Asst. Secretary: Madhavan Nair
Treasurer: Fong Kwee Loom
Members: Fung Ket Wing
Ding Chek Ming
Lip Tuck Chee
Yau Jiok Hwa
Lim Kwi Siam
The DAP OOSAA Committee will hold its first meeting tonight to plan out its strategy of action to mobilise public opinion against the Official Secrets Act amendment Bill.
Letter to Parliamentary Accounts Committee asking it to inquire into BMF Scandal
I have today written to the Parliament Accounts Committee formally asking it to inquire into the $2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) loans scandal.
My letter to the PAC Chairman, Ismail Mansor bin Said, MP for Kemaman, is as follows:
“YB Ismail Mansor bin Said,
Public Accounts Committee
Investigations into BMF Scandal
I write to ask the Public Accounts Committee to conduct immediate and urgent investigations into the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) loans scandal in Hong Kong.
You may ask as to what right the PAC has to inquire into the BMF scandal.
I refer you to Paragraph 34 of the Auditor-General’s Report of the 1982 Federal Government Accounts which reads:
“……The Notes to the accounts relating to this balances (of Bank Bumiputra) indicate that the Government had given an undertaking that it would back the Bank fully should the Bank face any difficulties in meeting its obligations. The Treasury has however informed me that it has no issued a written statement of such undertaking other than the statement to that effect given by the Minister of Finance in reply to question in Dewan Rakyat on 15 March 1983.”
The PAC should inquire into firstly, whether the Finance Minister’s reply in Parliament constitute sufficient guarantee to bind the government to bail out Bank Bumiputra from whatever financial troubles, to the extent of saving it from bankruptcy. Secondly, whether such guarantee by the Financw Minister had the approval, knowledge and authorisation of the Cabinet.
Secondly, the PAC should inquire whether the Finance Minister had studied the financial problems of Bank Bumiputra and BMF before giving such a guarantee. The PAC should conduct a through inquiry into the BMF scandal and Bank Bumiputra’s negligence and complicity so as to report to Parliament whether the Finance Minister’s guarantee was justifiable or highly irresponsible.
If the PAC does not live up to its responsibility to immediately inquire into the BMF scandal, to pursue from where the Ahmad Nordin BMF Inquiry let off, then the PAC would have failed in its responsibility to Parliament and the nation at its most critical task.
It has been said that if the PAC is headed by an Opposition Member, it would have no hesitation to conduct a full-scale inquiry into BMF scandal. I am not prepared to say that such comment is fair. This is why I am writing to you, and making available this letter to other PAC members as well as members of the public, to ascertain whether the PAC is prepared, under you chairmanship, to donduct an immediate inquiry into the BMF scandal.
(Lim Kit Siang)