by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Thursday, 17th May 1990:
DAP calls on Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to present a White Paper to explain the Official Assignee’s role in the Renong deal which involves transactions in companies of deregistered UMNO
No satisfactory explanation has been given so far of the role of the Official Assignee in the Renong deal which involves transactions in companies of deregistered UMNO which should be held by the Official Assignee.
These companies include Fleet Groups Sdn. Bhd., Hatibudi Nominees Sdn. Bhd. and United Engineers (M) Bhd.
Two days ago, the Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin, said there was no point of a court order to stop the sale of Fleet Group and Hatibudi Nominees Sdn. Bhd. to Renong Bhd. as the Official Assignee has already effected the sale. Daim said that an injunction at this juncture would be inappropriate as the sale had already gone through. He added that an injunction to stop the sale may be done if Fleet Group and Hatibudi had not been sold.
What Daim said contradicts a statement by the Bumiputra Merchant bankers Bhd. (BMBB) who are the adviser to the Renong deal which will make Renong the Chief UMNO Baru vehicle to assume control of the vast corporate assets of the deregistered UMNO.
The general manger of BBMB, Yap Chee Keong,, was asked why Renong had not dealt with the Official Assignee and he said: “Why should the Official Assignee be involved? You are asking (this) based on the assumption that the Fleet Holdings’ assets are still held by the Official Assignee.” (NST 3/5/90)
This reply by Yap Chee Keong can only mean two things: Firstly, the Fleet Holdings assets were not held by the Official Assignee before the Renong deal; and secondly, that the Official Assignee wa not involved in the Renong deal.
This clearly contradicts Daim’s statement two days ago that the Official Assignee had affected the sale of Fleet Group and Hatibudi Nominees Sdn. Bhd. to Renong Bhd.
The public is entitled to know the truth of the Official Assignee’s role in the Renong deal, and I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to issue a White Paper to enlighten the people on this subject.
Three public interest questions on the Renong deal
This is a very important issue, as the question that readily comes to mind is whether this is another conflict-of-interest scandal of the Barisan Nasional Government.
The series of transactions in the Renong deal, which will catapult the modest-sized property company into one of the biggest investment-holding concerns in the region, with controlling interests in eight publicly-listed companies, must be subject to the closest public scrutiny, because of the political interests involved.
The first public interest question is the propriety and legality of the Renong deal when the various companies should be held by the Official Assignee because of the deregistration of UMNO.
The second public interest question is the relationship between a political party and business in Malaysia. It has been said that apart from Malaysia, no political system in the region has developed such sprawling and deep corporate inroads into a nation’s economy, with the country’s dominant party controlling the links.
The third public interest question is whether the Renong deal is one of the sources of funding for the UMNO Baru in the coming general elections, to contribute to UMNO’s billion-ringgit general elections ‘war chest’.