Anwar Ibrahim should direct Bank Negara to secure a public undertaking from MBf to give full and satisfactory compensation to all losses incurred by its customers as a result of the ‘grand theft’ of the safe deposit boxes of its Kajang branch


by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, June 26, 1993:

Anwar Ibrahim should direct Bank Negara to secure a public undertaking from MBf to give full and satisfactory compensation to all losses incurred by its customers as a result of the ‘grand theft’ of the safe deposit boxes of its Kajang branch

The Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should direct Bank Negara to secure a public undertaking from MBf to give full and satisfactory compensation to all losses incurred by its customers as a result of the ‘grand theft’ of the safe deposit boxes of its Kajang branch.

The government would have failed in its duty to protect public interest if the MBf chief executive officer, Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong, could disclaim all liability for the losses suffered by the customers as a result of ‘grand theft’ of 129 of the 900 occupied safe deposit boxes on the ground that the customers had signed a one-sided agreement relieving the MBf of all liability for any losses suffered as a result of the use of the safe deposit boxes.

Such ‘contracts’ are unfair contracts which are against public policy, for they allow the wealthy and powerful to take advantage of the week and defenceless, and a government which protects the interests of the ordinary citizen against powerful vested interests should not permit such unfair contracts.

Previously, housing developers and insurance companies had also been guilty of imposing such unfair contracts, whose terms are most unilateral and one-sided and completely against the interests of the house-buyers and insurance policy holders, and this has led to state interventation to ensure a more equitable relationship by imposing minimum terms for a fair contract.

I am seeking a meeting with Anwar Ibrahim on the refusal by Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong to accept full responsibility for the losses suffered by the public because of the grand theft of the MBf Kajang safe deposit boxes

Anwar Ibrahim should direct the Bank Negara to take action arising from the ‘grand theft’ of the MBf Kajang branch safe deposit boxes on two fronts:

Firstly, with regard to the specific case of the theft and ransacking of MBf Kajang branch safe deposit boxes, get MBf chief executive officer, Tan Sri Loy Hean Heong to give a public undertaking to give full and satisfactory compensation to all the losses incurred by the customers, or to suspend the nation-wide operations of the entire MBf Finance; and

Secondly, introduce regulations to require fair contractual terms in the agreements imposed on customers of banks and finance companies, as in the use of safe deposit boxes as well as other services, so that banks and finance companies cannot disclaim liability for losses which are the responsibility of the banks and finance companies and no fault of the customers.

DAP will expect the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim to give a full and satisfactory explanation of what he had done to protect the public interest to ensure that banks and finance companies do not abuse their relationship with their customers by imposing unfair and one-sided agreements, and in particular, with regard to the refusal by the MBf chief executive officer, Tan Sri Loy Hean Hoy, to accept full responsibility for the losses suffered by the customer of the Kajang MBF branch as a result of the grand theft of the safe deposit boxes.

In view of the gravity of the refusal of Tan Sri Loy Hean Hoy to accept full responsibility for the losses of the customer from the grand theft of the MBf Kajang safe deposit boxes and the wide prevalence of one-sided and unfair contracts between banks and finance companies on the one hand and the public on the other, I am asking for a meeting with Anwar Ibrahim to impress on him the need and urgency for the government to take action to protect the public interest.

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