by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjong and Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 6.1.1987:
Call on Bank Negara to explain why it unilaterally decided to appoint receivers for the 23 co-operatives without consent or consultation with the directors, members and depositors of the co-operatives
Before Bank Negara proceed with its application to the High Court to appoint receivers for the 23 co-operatives, it must explain why it unilaterally decided on this action without consent or consultation with the directors, members and depositors of the co-operatives.
Once the receivers are appointed for the 23 co-operatives, the directors and officials of the co-operatives become superfluous and redundant, whatever agreement allegedly reached between the nine co-operatives named by Bank Negara yesterday and financial institutions could also be disregarded, and the fate of the co-operative and the depositors decided unilaterally by the receivers.
This is because the receivers to be appointed for the 23 co-operatives would have far-reaching powers. They would assume all powers and duties of directors and other principal office bearers of the co-operatives; fully empowered go dispose of the co-operatives’ properties and assets; and to hire managers and co-operative employees.
It would be the co-operatives who would eventually have to pay the receivers for their work, and yet the co-operative directors, members and depositors have no say what so ever in their appointment.
Before receivers are appointed for the 23 co-operatives, and full powers in deciding the future of the depositors’ monies vested in the hands of the 23 receivers, the members and depositors of the 23 co-operatives must be given a chance to have a say as to whether they want receivers to be appointed.
When Bank Rakyat faced a financial crisis in late 1970s, the Government did not appoint receivers for Bank Rakyat. Why should Bank Negara prescribe this bitter medicine for the 23 co-operatives now?
The receivers for the 23 co-operatives, when appointed, would be given powers to “implement any scheme or arrangement or rescue operation considered beneficial and in the best interest” of the co-operative and its depositors, “binding on all depositors”. Depositors would be denied any say what so ever in any arrangement or scheme for them – including liquidation!
Apart from KOLADI, is there no other co-operative which is viable?
Bank Negara should also satisfy the Malaysian public that apart from KOJADI, there is no other co-operative which is viable without appointment of receivers. From the White Paper Report, there are a few co-operatives which, with government assistance, is clearly viable. Why is the government not honouring the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin’s promise when announcing the Bank Negara’s freeze of 23 co-operatives on August 8 that ‘viable’ co-operatives would be allowed to re-open as poon as possible?
MCA President, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik told co-operative depositors yesterday that thee government needs more time ‘for investigations’ for the other co-operatives, presumably referring to the ‘bad’ ones like KOSATU, SAKAAP, FORTISS, KSM, etc. there is clearly no sense of urgency on the part of MCA Ministers or the Government. Is five long months not enough, when the Bank Negara had earlier said all it needed was one month for investigations? How long more does Datuk Dr. Ling want the depositors to wait?