Shareholders file bid to take control of Bank Rakyat ownership

A group of shareholders wants to take over the management of Bank Rakyat from the government.

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of Bank Rakyat shareholders today filed a challenge against the government, seeking to take back control of its ownership.

They claimed that the shareholders, who consist of cooperative members, have a say in managing the bank’s daily affairs.

The shareholders said that in 1978, the government took over the running of the bank to protect it from insolvency and mismanagement.

“The Bank Rakyat Act was enacted for this purpose. Under Section 31 of the Act, it was stated that the minister in charge of Bank Rakyat can abolish the law once the bank’s finances are back on track,” they said in their application for a judicial review.

The group, led by Abdul Aziz Zainal, Mustafha Abd Razak and Rahim Yunus, stated that then prime minister Hussein Onn had told the Dewan Rakyat the Act was only a temporary measure to assist the bank’s finances.

They also said that the shareholders had sent letters to then entrepreneur development minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof on two occasions to invoke Section 31, but Redzuan refused to do so.

“We also wrote to Bank Rakyat’s board of directors asking for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting) to be held so we can push the government to invoke the law but they turned us down,” they added.

The shareholders are seeking a court order to revoke the minister’s decision in refusing to invoke Section 31, as well as the board of directors’ decision to turn down the EGM request.

They named Bank Rakyat’s board of directors, the entrepreneur development and cooperatives minister, the finance ministry and the government in the application for a judicial review.

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