Call on new EPF Chairman, Tan Sri Zain Azraai, to publicly give the entire list of EPF investments in stocks and shares

by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 24th June 1986:

Call on new EPF Chairman, Tan Sri Zain Azraai, to publicly give the entire list of EPF investments in stocks and shares

I welcome the report that the new EPF Chairman, Tan Sri Zain Azraai will make a public statement after the first meeting of the new EPF Board on July 1 with regard to the EPF’s investment in speculative stocks and its re-sale of shares to a $2 company, MAKUWASA, leading to a loss of $10 million.

The five million EPF contributors have a right to know what the EPF is doing to its $2.5 billion contributors’ funds, for they are the workers’ money. Any refusal by the EPF authorities and the Ministry of Finance to fully account for their stewardship, deployment and investment of EPF funds constitute a prima facie breach of trust. This is also why the DAP’s nation¬wide maws signature campaign to protest against the imprudent and ill-advised EPF investment policies have received such warm and spontaneous support from the public.

I call on Tan Sri Zain Azraai to publicly announce the entire list of EPF investments in stocks and shares for the years 1984, 1985 and 1486, apart from giving a full explanation for the mysterious sale of EPF shares to the $2 company, MAKUWASA, leading to $10 million loss to the EPF fund.

Tan Sri Zain should also explain the following:

(1) Whether it is not true that the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, had misled Parliament when he said EPF suffered ‘paper losses’ of $36.8 million for its investment of some $200 million in shares in 1985, when the EPF invested some $750 million in shares in 1985, and the total losses were closer to the region of $100 million! What are the details of these losses.

(2) Why EPF contributed $100 million of EPF contributors’ fund to a high-powered Investment Co-ordinating Committee, which also drew funds from SOCSO, BANK SIMPANAN NASIONAL, SPORTS TOTO, to invest in the stock market, including tens of millions of dollars.

(3) What are the shares, and the volume and cost, invested by the Investment Co-ordinating Committee, partly using EPF funds, since its establishment; and who are the people operating this highly-powered, secretive Investment Co-ordinating Committee.

(4) Why was the previous EPF Board denied all information about investment decisions of the EPF Investment Panel, the Investment Co-ordinating Committee, and what assurance could Tan Sri Zain give to ensure that the new EPF Board will not be sidestepped in future on important EPF investment and other policy decision-making?

(5) Is the EPF Chairman prepared to have regular dialogues with trade unions and workers’ representatives who want to know what the EPF is doing with their monies?

I hope the new EPF Board Chairman will restore the workers’ confidence in the management of the EPF funds. I propose to meet Tan Sri Zain after his July 1 Board meeting on the whole question of the EPF.

Finally, Tan Sri Zain should tell the workers what steps are being taken to recover the $10 million loss suffered by EPF as a result of the ‘improper gift’ of shares to the $2 company, MAKUWASA, at the original purchase price, instead of disposing them at the market price, which will fetched a profit of $10 million. Surely MAKUWASA must return this $10 million to EPF with interest!