By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 19th October 1991:
Is Anwar Ibrahim prepared to resign if he could not successfully arrest and prosecute a single case of insider trading in Malaysia?
Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, said in Bangkok on Thursday (Star 18/10/91) that there was need for more openness in the investigations of securities scandal in Malaysia to ensure that it would not lead to a huge scandal.
Anwar said investigations into offences in the securities industry in Malaysia are still going on, although some cases have been closed.
Anwar said he expected someone “very important” to be caught, but only after going through the facts and data collected.
In July this year, the stock market was abuzz with the determination of the new Finance Minister to arrest, prosecute and jail several corporate ‘heavy-weights’ for insider trading, At one time, the press even reported the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob, confirming that former Bank Bumiputra Chairman, Tan Sri Bashir Ismail, Renong Bhd. executive chairman Halim Saad and lawyer Zaid Ibrahim, had been questioned by the police in connection with insider trading, although this was subsequently denied.
Although this was one of the causes which adversely affected the share market, nothing came out of the new Finance Minister’s war against insider trading in Malaysia.
At the end of August, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, even publicly declared a clean bill of health for the securities industry in Malaysia when he said at the annual dinner of financial institutions in Kuala Lumpur that the government had found no evidence of any insider trading in the Kuala Lumpur stock market. The Prime Minister said at the time that if the share market had not recovered, it was due to the rumour mongers.
Anwar’s Bangkok statement two days ago is bound to cause total confusion in the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange. Are investigations into insider trading still going on, and “someone very important” is going to be arrested and prosecuted for insider trading, or has the insider trading investigations completely fizzled out as stated by the Prime Minister at the end of August?
Two weeks ago, the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, said in Malacca that he was prepared to resign his position if the UMNO members do not give him support in his effort to stamp out all forms of deviations and waste in government agencies.
Is Anwar prepared to make a similar statement that he would resign from his post if he could not successfully arrest and prosecute even one person for insider trading in Malaysia and if the other UMNO leaders do not give him support in his war against insider trading?