A Kadir Jasin
اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do
with whatever position I may hold. Anonymous comments will not be published.
|Regulatory Agencies, GLICs and GLCs are not private domains|
MANY young and not so young politicians and business
executives do not like to be reminded of past events. They either think that
they know all or they don’t want to be burdened by the past.
As such, in my half a
century of practicing journalism I have seen mistakes and crimes of the past
being repeated almost willfully and to the exact detail.
As a continuation to my
stories in this Blog and in my Facebook on the goings-on at the Finance
Ministry, the Bursa Malaysia Berhad and the Securities Commission, allow me to recall
the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal of the 1980s.
BMF was incorporated as
a wholly owned, offshore subsidiary of Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad (BBMB) in
1974 and commenced business in Hong Kong in 1977.
I was then a reporter
at the Business Times and was assigned to get a comment from BBMB on rumours that
BMF was facing problems due to fraud.
I managed to get a
comment from the bank’s Chief Economist who dismissed the foreign media reports
as mere speculations.
But in matter of weeks
the scandal blew up. I confronted the executive and, in not so many words, told
him that he had lied to me and I, in turn, lied to my readers.
To cut the story short,
BMF collapsed dragging BBMB down with it. Internal auditor Abdul Jalil Ibrahim was
murdered while investigating the scandal in Hong Kong in 1983. Three top
managers of BBMB, including the officer who misled me, were eventually jailed in
Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
They were found guilty
of conspiring with Hong Kong-based Malaysian businessman, George Tan, to
defraud the bank.
Malaysian businessman, Mak Foon Than, was later tried and convicted for the
murder of Abdul Jalil. He was sentenced to hang but was later commuted to life.
Tan was jailed for three year in 1996 on conspiracy charges relating to BMF.
The top managers of BBMB/BMF
were all Malays and the businessman who conspired with them was a Chinese. Sounds
very much like the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that partnered the
former Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, and Jho Low.
Abdul Jalil was not the
only murder victim linked to or were associated with high-level corruption
scandals in Malaysia. Others include the Mongolian girlfriend of Abdullah Abdul
Razak Baginda, Altantuya Shaariibuu, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kevin Anthony Morais
and the co-founder of Arab-Malaysia Bank (AmBank) Hussain Najadi.
So, my advice to
politicians, businessmen and business executives is, please do not think too high
and mighty about yourself.
With specific reference
to people appointed to run regulatory agencies (like SC and Bank Negara), Government-linked Investment
Companies (GLICs) and Government-linked Companies (GLCs), do not treat them as
We are now living in
the open world of the internet and social media.
Information flows freely and
there is only so much that you can hide from public views.
Eventually the muck
will hit the fan and you may not have time to duck.