Speech by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the DAP May Day Public Protest Meeting over EPF Shares Scandal held at Penang Chinese Town Hall on Friday, 1.5.1987 at 10 a.m.
Call on the Minister of Finance, Daim Zainuddin, to explain whether the government is proposing amendments to the EPF Act 1951 to legalise investment in non-trustee stocks
The EPF owe the 4.8 million EPF contributors a full accounting on its infringement of the EPF Act to use EPF funds to invest in non-trustee stocks.
Since the tabling of the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1985 EPF Accounts in March this year, and the Auditor-General’s comments about the EPF’s unlawful actions in vesting in non-trustee stocks, the EPF had gone into its shell and avoided an accounting.
The EPF contributors are most mystified how the EPF Investment Panel could have violated the law, when the Deputy Chairman of the EPF Investment Panel was none other than the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman. The question whether Tan Sri Abu Talib as Attorney-General is going to file legal action against Tan Sri Abu Talib the EPF Investment Panel Deputy Chairman for violating the EPF Act 1951 is still waiting for an answer!
I understand that there are moves to amend the EPF Act to legalise the investment of EPF monies in non-trustee stocks. I call on the Minister of Finance, Daim Zainuddin, to give the workers a clear statement on this, and why, as Finance Minister in charge of EPF, he allowed so much improprieties and even unlawful actions to take place in the EPF.
It was revealed in the 1985 EPF Report of the Auditor-General that $50 million of EPF monies were invested in non-trustee stocks. Is there any reason why the EPF is reluctant to make public the list of some 20 non-trustee stocks invested by the EPF in 1985?
Public conscience had been so ‘brutalised’ by multi-billion dollar scandals like BMF and Maminco that scandals involving tens or hundreds or million of dollars are geqarded as ‘chicken-feed’
I find one aspect of public accountability and government morality very distressing in recent years. The Malaysian people had been under constant shock in the past four years, reeling from one scandal to another resulting in the public conscience being so ‘brutalised’ and ‘hardened’ by multi-billion dollar scandals like the BMF and Maminco Scandals that scandals involving tens or even hundreds of million of dollars are gegarded as ‘chicken-feed’.
This is like a person who is so used to squandering billions of dollars that the waste of tens or hundreds of million of dollars are not even given a second thought.
This is why the EPF and the Government does not take the EPF shares scandal seriously, especially as it could get away with greater scandals like the BMF scandal, Maminco, UMBC, Co-operative Finance scandals.
The purpose of the DAP’s present campaign to arouse workers’ awareness of their rights to demand accountability on the EPF shares scandal is also part of the larger effort to get Malaysians to regain perspective, that the loss of tens of million of dollars of EPF movies is not ‘chicken-feed’, but a national issue of the first magnitude!
It will indeed be a sad day for Malaysia if scandals involving billions of dollars are regarded as serious, but scandals involving tens or hundreds of million of dollars are regarded as ‘unfortunate’ but minor deviations of the government which do not deserve serious attention.