Side Views

The BMF scandal revisited: Seeking the truth ― KL Lau

NOV 19 ― In October,1984, I wrote an article under the heading, “BMF loan scandal – When will we ever learn ?”

It was published in an edited version, in The Star on October 15, 1984, under the heading, “BMF: Have we really learnt our lesson?”

At the same time, a copy of an unedited version was also extended to most of the Ministers in the Cabinet the Governor of Bank Negara at the material time.

In the concluding paragraphs of the unedited version, I wrote:

“Such arrangement will encourage even more over-dependency especially among individual and among government agencies, like taking out money from one pocket and putting it into another which may be leaking. It will hardly discourage the repetitions of many ‘George Tans’ whom a former banker’s concerns over the existence .Can we really learn our lesson?”

To be able to learn a lesson is not merely saying it. We must go to the roots of the causes and take whatever actions necessary to discourage the recurrences of past mistakes.

The US House government operations Committee (B.T. Oct 23 84) said in its report on bank failures were mainly caused by fraud and criminal activities. It found that ‘banks did not just fail -they were robbed from the inside’. It recommended strong and decisive actions should be taken swiftly against those officials guilty of misconduct in performing their banking duties.

In October 1983, the Dr Mahathir had said that BBMB group’s lending practices in Hong Kong were a ‘heinous crime’. On 25th September 1984, the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ahmad Noordin Zakaria had said that it “it was not too late to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry”.

May I add that it is not too late to learn a lesson. Why are we still waiting? When will we ever learn?

Subsequent to the losses of RM2.5 billion BMF Scandal (in 1983) and a precious life, many similar financial scandals easily in excess of RM300 billion in total, including Perwaja Steel, London Tin Speculation, Bakun Dam, PFTZ, Bank Negara’s RM15 billion losses in forex, just to name a few, continue to “flourish” at the expense and suffering of the Rakyat and the country.

Following the AG’s statement, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also called for a “Royal Commission of Inquiry” and I expressed my thoughts to him in a letter that he “..was most courageous and sensible to the need and feeling of the people who wish to know the whole truth. We cannot undo what had been done but at least the public and the civil servants must be made aware the serious long term consequence it will bear on our country and ensure the repetitions of such ugly nature must not recur”.

Surprisingly, none of the ministers responded or took positive remedial actions to prevent similar scandals recurring. They had only deceived the people with cheap talk. That is why Bank Negara can so easily lose RM15 billion (in 1992) in a blink of an eye.

There was also a second RM982.4 million rescue of Bank Bumiputra in 1989 by Petronas when it suffered a record loss of RM1.06 billion for the year ended March 31,1989. The irresponsible and misconduct officials were never brought to books.

Until now, almost 30years later, my question “When will we ever learn?” still remains unanswered.

This is also the same question that the Rakyat are asking. They are demanding an answer and most probably through ‘Bersih’ if they continue to receive unsatisfactory and dubious response from the government of day who fail to deliver a clean, fair, honest and efficient system of good governance that will meet the needs and wants of the rakyat.

The rakyat will now demand to know the truth behind the BMF scandal and each and every subsequent scandal that has persistently caused so much untold distress, anguish and hardships to the nation and its rakyat, largely as a result of those who misconduct themselves in performing their duties.

The sensible and patriotic rakyat who have access to information of those who were involved should take the courageous responsibility and come forward to disclose the truth, so that the country’s entrenched culture of glorifying deceit and cover-up by those who abuse their position and power can altogether be eradicated. Those who found guilty of committed such “heinous crime” should be brought to justice.

Then only, we can learn the lesson that such scandals will never ever recur again.

It will also be of public interest to know the responses of those past ministers and the present ministers and officials who are fully aware of the BMF Scandals, which had led to such damaging and serious long-term effects and consequences on the lives of every rakyat and our country, will conscientiously conduct themselves in performing their duties.

The BMF scandal is hereditary . It has become the DNA of the Umno/BN regime.

It is the mother of the all the subsequent bigger scandals.

Its genes, unfortunatelty until now, have not been replaced.

This article is about finding the truth regarding the Malaysian Scandal-shaking events.

No attempt should be made by the players of the press, whether electronic, TV, cable, main stream, or alternate media, to frustrate, hide or blackout the truth those scandalous sweepstakes, hopefully.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

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