After taking over Putrajaya, Pakatan should initiate investigations into the malpractices and crimes allegedly committed by the BN.
Why? Because it would enable the elected the Pakatan government to investigate the gross malpractices committed by the Umno-Barisan National federal government and the roles in Sabah and Sarawak state governments from 1981 till today.
The investigations should focus on the following malpractices and crimes:
1. Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
The EPF is a government public fund entity where the workers and their employers are required to make monthly contributions to the members’ life savings accounts.
Over the years, the payments made by millions of employees would contribute billions of ringgit to the savings fund.
Over the years, the EPF has been the main source of domestic borrowings by the federal government.
However, since the 1997-98 economic crisis, which hit Malaysia badly, the role of the EPF as the traditional primary lender changed.
It became then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s personal piggy bank and funds were used to bail out his crony companies which suffered mammoth financial losses due to the fall in the ringgit value vis-à-vis the major world currencies and the loss in the value of the stocks from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) crash.
Unlike commercial banks, bad loans will result in credit control or freeze; for the EPF, the cash inflows from the employees and employers’ contributions and cash outflows from their withdrawals and loans taken by the government are a continuous non-stop process.
In other words, funds used up are continuously replenished by the inflows.
Hence some funds can be siphoned out through the manipulation of the outflows by those entrusted to manage the fund, but replenished by the members’ contributions, thereby making it to appear that the total funds is growing or at least maintained at constant level. It gives the impression that there is no abuse of funds.
So how much actually is the total outflows and how are the funds utilised, especially those related to government borrowings for public investments/expenditures and for bailout purposes?
These facts are not revealed by the current BN government.
As I have explained in my earlier articles on the national debt, a substantial portion of the federal budget deficit is financed by borrowings from EPF, which is used to cover the cost of paying crony companies through the highly inflated prices of government projects awarded without the open tender system.
Hence it is vital that Pakatan be voted in as the next federal government to enable them to investigate the extent and purposes of the actual funds taken out by the federal government from the EPF vis-à-vis the official figures.
The investigation will enable the public to know how much money is actually lent out and abused and the actual balance of the fund remaining.
Petronas as a national petroleum corporation has earned billions of US dollars from its domestic and overseas operations. How much of Petronas’ overseas actual earnings are not revealed?
We believe part of the corporate earnings are diverted to benefit those in the corridors of power.
3. Bank Negara
The Pakatan government should get to the bottom of the financial losses suffered by Bank Negara for using its foreign reserves in speculation activities in the London foreign exchange (forex) market duirng 1992-93 upon the directive of Mahathir.
Mahathir gambled away billions of Bank Negara’s scarce foreign exchange to buy the British pound with the belief that the currency would rise, but instead the sterling fell when the British government announced a devaluation of the currency.
The actual amount of losses, in billions of US dollars, suffered by Bank Negara was never revealed by the government.
4. Mahathir’s mega economics
Under Mahathir’s mega economic models, projects were awarded directly to cronies and henchmen.
Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, though he is quite independent of federal government control, had to share his ill-gotten wealth with Mahathir as a form of protection money.
Here it was a case of “win-win” in corruption, a personal scheme engineered between the two.
It is therefore pertinent that the Pakatan government investigate the amount of illicit money allegedly involving the duo.
All Mahathir wanted was for much of the revenue from Sarawak’s oil, gas, income and customs taxes worth billions of ringgit to flow into the federal coffers.
In exchange, he allowed Taib to have complete control of the state. Whatever the problems were between Taib and his people, Mahathir didn’t give a damn.
Mahathir preferred to see that the Sarawak and Sabah people remained poor and ignorant so that he could continue to manipulate their wealth, boost his federal government coffers and later abuse these funds.
5. State projects
The list of federal and Sarawak state projects that had been awarded without open tender and who benefited from them.
6. National debts
The need to investigate the causes of the escalating national debt.
7. “Double Six” tragedy
Pakatan must probe the cause of the “Double Six” tragedy on June 6, 1976, near Kota Kinabalu airport.
Eleven people were killed in the air crash. Among them were then Sabah chief minister Fuad Stephens and several state cabinet members.
At that time Mahathir was the deputy prime minister. Then prime minister Hussein Onn was an honest and clean man.
The original oil royalty deal that was agreed upon for Sabah was 20%, but following the untimely crash, the original oil-sharing agreement was altered with a new agreement, which gave Sabah a share of only 5% of oil royalty.
Sabahans should vote for a Pakatan government to enable it to investigate the cause of the accident and the mastermind behind the whole thing.
Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.