By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Monday, 15.9.1986:
Call on Inspectector-general of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, to order the set-up of a high-poweres investigation team of experienced police officers to give top priority to complete investigations to prosecute directors and officers of co-operatives responsible for the $1.6 billion co-operative finance scandal.
In the co-operative finance scandal, 540,000 depositors and members face the prospect of losing the bulk of their $1.6 billion deposits, because of the fraud, breach of trust, abuse of power and irresponsibility of certain directors and officers of co-operatives.
If Dr. Mahathir Mohamed had described the $2.5 billion BMF scandal as a ‘heinous crime’, the $1.6 billion Co-operative Finance scandal is doubly ‘heinous crime’, for unlike the BMF scandal, few million people will be directly hit by the co-operative finance scandal.
However, since the Bank Negara action on July 23, freezing the assets and activities of KOSATU, and followed by the August 8 action in freezing the assets and activities of 23 co-operatives, the people have only read of recent police detention of two KOSATU directors for investigations.
Over a month has passed, and $1.6 billion of the money of small-time Malaysians- the housewives, workers, hawkers, petty traders – have been frozen facing jeopardy; but the Police seems to regard the entire $1.6 billion Co-operative finance scandal as a daily pickpocketting case!
The police should give special priority to investigate and prosecute the directors and officers of co-operatives responsible for the tragedy being faced by the 540,000 depositors and members, and I call on the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Haniff Omar, to order the setting up of a high-powered investigation squad of experienced police officers to take over and complete investigations and prosecute the criminals in the co-operatives.
If the Police continue to show unconcern about the heinous crimes in the Co-operatives Scandal, then the question arises whether the Police are fit and competent to protect the people from such criminals in the first place.
I understand that in the past, the Co-operative department had referred several cases involving commercial crimes in co-operatives to the Police but the Police just sat on them without producing any results.
MCA and Gerakan leaders must explain why they oppose the public release of the Bank Negara’s investigations into the 24 co-operatives
One effective way to expose the fraud, breach of trust, abuse of authority and negligence perpetrated by criminal directors and officers of co-operatives responsible for the $1.6 billion co-operative finance scandal is to make public the bank Negara’s investigations into the 24 co-operatives. There is already a precedent, where the then Prime Minister, Hussein Onn, made public the Price Waterhouse report on the $150 million Bank Rakyat scandal in 1979.
I understand that MCA and Gerakan leaders are strongly opposed to the public release of Bank Negara’s reports into the 24 co-operatives, for it will implicate certain MCA and Gerakan leaders. I call on the MCA and Gerakan leaders to justify their opposition to the release of the Bank Negara investigations into the 24 co-operatives.