by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, May 25, 1994:
Bank Negara should arrange for 263,000 Mercantile Insurance policyholders to simultaneously buy new cover from other insurers at the same time they terminated their Mercantile policies
Bank Negara should arrange for the 263,000 Mercantile Insurance policyholders to simultaneously buy new cover from other insurers at the same time they terminated their Mercantile Insurance policies.
This is the least Bank Negara should do after it had failed in the three-year takeover of Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. to nurse the company to sound financial footing and in letting down the 263,000 policyholders who had placed their trust and faith in Bank Negara’s takeover of Mercantile insurance.
This arrangement is particularly vital to the 140,000 motor insurance holders for they face the problem of getting new motor cover.fr6m other insurance companies.
The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) owes the insuring public the. duty and responsibility to cooperate with Bank Negara to minimise the inconvenience and hardships of the 263,000 Mercantile policyholders whereby they could simultaneously buy new cover from other insurers at the same time that they terminated their Mercantile policies.
I do not believe that it is beyond the ability and competence of the Bank Negara and the PIAM to work out such a scheme. The only question is whether they feel the social obligation to help minimise the inconvenience and hardships faced by the 263,000 Mercantile policyholders – who are the real victims in the RM383 Mercantile Insurance scandal.
Mercantile topped all insurance companies in having the highest general insurance written premiums in 1992 totalling RM216million
Bank Negara must be subject to the scrutiny of public accountability for its handling of the Mercantile Insurance Sdn. Bhd. assets and management since its take-over of Mercantile Insurance more than three years ago, for more and more questions about its competence and professionalism had surfaced.
According to the 1993 report of the Director-General of Insurance, for the year 1992, total written premiums of the general insurance industry amounted to RM2,894.7 million, and Mercantile Insurance topped all the insurance companies in the country in having RM216 million in written premiums for the year.
Bank Negara must satisfy the public and the 263,000 Mercantile policyholders that there was no way it could have ‘save’ Mercantile Insurance from liquidation although in the second year of its take-over, Mercantile insurance was still the leader of written premiums in the general industry.
MCA Ministers should fight in Cabinet for Bank Negara to honour dollar-to-dollar the 263,000 Mercantile policies as the Chairman of Mercantile when it was taken over by Bank Negara in 1991 was former MCA Deputy Minister, Lew Sip Hon
It is very surprising that in the past one week, while the public, particularly the 263,000 Mercantile policyholders, were outraged by the Bank Negara announcement of cessation of all business for Mercantile Insurance and suspension of payments, there have been total silence from the MCA and Gerakan leaders as if they are not concerned about the injustices done to the innocent policyholders.
Is the silence from the MCA Ministers, on the RM383 million Mercantile Insurance scandal because the Chairman of Mercantile Insurance when it was taken over by Bank Negara in 1991 was former MCA strongman and Deputy Minister, Lew Sip Hon?
Instead of maintaining their silence and indifference, the involvement of Lew Sip Hon should give the MCA Ministers an even greater responsibility to speak up for the 263,000 innocent Mercantile policyholders in the Cabinet to ensure that Bank, Negara honour dollar-to-dollar the policies of the 263,000 poli¬cyholders.