Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Dap Secretary- General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang , at the Cheng DAP Branch Dinner at Cheng , Malacca on Saturday , 8th January 1994 at 8pm to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the DAP Save Bukit Campaign.
DAP calls on Finance Minister , Anwar Ibrahim , to introduce legislation to check corporate greed, malpractices and uncivic consciousness and raise the ethics and standards of corporate behaviour
After the Highland Towers Collapse Disaster , where over 70 lives were lost , both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister spoke of the need to curb greed which is not only antisocial , immoral but can destroy the fabric of our nation.
DAP calls on the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim , to introduce legislation to check corporate greed, malpractices and uncivic consciousness and to raise the ethics and standard of corporate behaviour.
For a start , corporations must be required to comply with the principles of accountability for their actions, which affect the people , society and the nation.
I will give an example. In Penang recently , a RM 2 company , Dolphin Square Sdn. Bhd. Paid RM 9.5 million for 100 year old heritage building , Hotel Metropole at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah or Millionaires ‘ Row which was constructed in 1990.
Three weeks after the sale was registered in the Penang Land Office on December 4, Hotel Metropole was destroyed in a ‘ lighting demolition ‘ on Christmas Day.
Up to now , the real owners of the RM2 company , Dolphin Square Sdn Bhd has refused to come forward to own up to their proprietorship and admit corporate responsibility for the sacrilege committed against the heritage , tradition and history of Penang in demolishing Hotel Metropole – which has been listed as a conservation building of historical and architectural interest by the MPPP since 1989.
It is most shocking that the real owners, which is a publicly-listed company whose shares are traded in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange at RM13.30 a share on closing yesterday, does not have the corporate responsibility to be accountable for its action and is so lacking in civic-consciousness as to destroy a heritage building which should be conserved for future generations as well for the promotion of cultural courism and heritage development in Penang.
The Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should introduce legislation to require RM2 shell companies which could buy RM9.5 million properties to revel their true identities and owners.
Nominee companies should be required by law to reveal their real ownership identities so that they will not continue as vehicles for corrupt political leaders to stash away their ill-gotten gains
Nominee companies should be required by legislation to reveal their real ownership identities, for nominee companies have often been used as vehicles for the deposit of ill-gotten gains, especially for the fruits of corruption.
The Malaysian Government cannot claim to be serious in its fight against corruption if it allows political leaders to stash away their ill-gotten gains from corruption, abuses of power and criminal breach of trust in nominee companies.
Anwar Ibrahim should ask the Anti-Corruption Agency to institute a study as to how the laws could be amended to close these loop-holes so as to stamp out corruption in high political places in the country.
Disclosure of the true ownership of nominee companies are also important to determine the actual ownership and control of the corporate sector.
For instance, according, to the Sixth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review statistics on the total equity in the corporate sector, the share of equity held in nominee companies increased by RM3,253 million from 8.5 per cent in 1990 to 9.5 per cent in 1992.
Who are the real owners of these nominee companies?
If the majority of these nominee companies are bumiputra owned, then the bumiputra share in the corporate equity sector would be more than the 18.2 per cent stated in the Sixth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review, and could be well over 25 per cent !