by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1986:
When will $2 mysterious tin-buying company, MAMINCO, its annual refurns and accounts to the Registry of Companies for the past five years be files, to reduce it to show that it is not above the law and Parliament?
I am not surprised by the statement by the former Prime Minister, Tun Hussien Onn, that he was not aware of any Cabinet decision in 1980 committing the Government to enter the tin market on the London Metal Exchange.
In fact, Cabinet Ministers of that period were as much surprised as the ordinary Malaysian public when the story of the $2 mysterious tin-buying company, MAMINCA, became public. I do not think more than three persons were privy to the MAMINCO decision and operation all the time.
It is clear that the $2 company, MAMINCO, is really mysterious for more reasons than one, and not just it being the mysterious tin-buyer in the London and Penang markets in 1981, leading to at least $660 million losses, but also with regard to its parentage, operation and management, as well as motivation.
MAMINCO is incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 on 26th June 1981, but since its incorporation document, it has never submitted any annual returns or accounts for the past five years.
If government companies act in disregard if the ordinary law of rhe land, is it any wonder that business ethics in Malaysia is so low?
I call on the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, to explain when will the $2 mysterious company, MAMINCO, operate within the confines of the law and submit all missing returns and to the Registry of Companies accounts for the past five years?
Who is now running MAMINCO? Are the two original $1-shareholders directors, Abdul Rahim Aki and Faisal Haji Siraj, still at the helm of the company? Or have they been replaced by others, and if so who?
When the Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, in Parliament gave a statement on MAMINCO in his winding-up speech during the Budget debate on 10th November, it was clear the whole subject was out of his depths, which explained his nervousness and refusal to be interrupted by DAP Mps for clarifications. Dr. Lim was merely a ‘parrot’ reading out a statement thrust at him, which he knew nothing about, and did not have the right to inquire fully on his own.
The Malaysian public have the right to know the real the circumstances and background for the establishment of MAMINCO and the attempt to corner the international tin market in 1981, whether it was really a Cabinet secision, especially as there are many questions surrounding this operation affecting the credibility, integrity, and motives of government leaders.
This is particularly important when the Government, just like the $2.5 billion BMF scandal, is trying to use half-truths and evasions to avoid telling the Malaysian people the whole truth about the 1981 London mysterious tin-buying scandal.
Before Dr. Lim Keng Yaik made the statement on MAMINCO during the winding-up of the Budget debate last week, the parliamentary press lobby was informed that the government would table a voluminous White Paper on the MAMINCO mysterious tin-buying operation.
Has the Government decided to change its mind and settle for a skimpy, unsatisfactory statement by Dr. Lim, which raises more questions than provide answers?
The Malaysian public are rightly concerned about the entire MAMINCO operation, and demand the fullest disclosure through a full independent public inquiry, not only into the MAMINCO escapades, but also at the attempt to raid EPF funds by the MAKUWASA litter of companies.
Is the Government’s incident haste to rush through the OSA Amendment Bill to impose a blanket clamp on inquiries into the MAMINCO, MAKUWASA and other government scandals?
The incident haste with which the Government intends to rush through the Official Secrets Act Amendment Bill, despite widespread opposition and objection, raise the legitimate question whether this is to enable the Government to impose a blanket clamp on inquiries into the MAMINCO, MAKUWASA and other government scandals.
What has the Government to hide, that it behaves as if national security and the very survival of country is now dependent on the enactment of the OSA Amendment Bill next month?
I fully agree with Tun Hussien Onn that if the OSA Amendment Bill is passed, the situation in the country would be like the time of the Japanese Occupation. There will be a climate of fear, secrecy and cowed silence, which is the very antithesis of an open, inquiring and healthy democracy.
On the eve of our 30th anniversary of nationhood, we should be entering into the brave new world with greater freedoms and democratic rights, instead of relapsing into the world of the Japanese Occupation 45 years ago.
Barisan MPs should heed the disquiet of two former Prime Ministers and one former Deputy Prime Minister, and refer it to a Parliamentary Select Committee on Freedom of Information.
Two former Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussien Onn, and one former Prime Minister, Datuk Musa Hitam, have expressed their disquiet over the OSA Amendment Bill, and their support for its reference to a Parliamentary Select Committee on Freedom of Information.
This is the first time in Malaysian history that two former Prime Ministers and one former Deputy Prime Minister have come out openly criticizing a major government ill and Barisan Nasional MPs should realise from this that the OSA Amendment Bill is not about party politics, but the very survival of democratic rights in Malaysia.
They should realise that there are times in the life of a nation when the interests of the country and the future generations are most important than party political considerations, and they should take courage from the public stand of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussien Onn and Datuk Musa Hitam, to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to withdraw the OSA Amendment Bill or refer it to a Parliamentary Select Committee.