Transformation of Lim Kit Siang is simply amazing and amusing

 |Feb 27, 2017
Lim Kit Siang now is not so keen on RCI to probe the forex scandal due to his sudden political alliance with Mahathir.

Since the federal government has announced the setting up of a special task force to investigate the Bank Negara forex scandal, certain politicians appeared to have been affected by stomach bugs.

The estimated RM30 billion forex scandal took place under former Premier Mahathir Mohamad’s watch in early 1990s.

Malaysians are not shocked to know that the government’s announcement and subsequent setting up of the special task force had caught off guard the perceived perpetrators behind the massive scandal.

But what puzzled them was the deafening silence and flip-flopping of stance by those who have had foamed in their mouth screaming at the scandal for over past 25 years.

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang is one notable person who would instantly struck in one’s mind.

Once regarded as the unblemished one, Kit Siang now seems not in favour of setting up a task force to investigate the Bank Negara forex scandal.

Bank Negara forex scandal aside, for past nearly 48 years, Kit Siang has ridiculed, condemned and berated the federal government on virtually everything that he claimed was wrong.

He chastised the Maminco tin scandal that happened in 1985 under Mahathir’s watch.

Maminco loss was estimated to be RM1.6 billion.

Other scandals that Kit Siang censured during Mahathir’s premiership between 1981 and 2003 were the RM10 billion Bumiputera Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF) scandal, RM10 billion Perwaja Steel scandal and RM1.5 billion deposit-taking co-operative scandal, all in 1980s; and RM9.4 billion MAS financial scandal that happened in 1990s, to name a few.

Malaysia lost billions in these scandals that took place under Mahathir’s 22-year premiership, and Kit Siang was in the forefront to wag his fingers .

Hence shocking that those who once whacked and smacked Mahathir for all these scandals, were now lobbying him to ‘Save Malaysia’!

Maminco scandal

Malaysia was once global’s main tin producer accounting for 31% of the world’s output.

It was a major contributor to the country’s economy providing employment for more than 40,000 people.

After Mahathir had grabbed the prime minister’s chair in 1981, Maminco Sdn Bhd was set up to spike and control tin prices on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

To finance its covert operations, Maminco obtained loans from Bank Bumiputra.

At one point, this RM2 company was borrowing astronomical amounts from the bank – as much as RM1.5 billion.

In 1985, the world tin market crashed with the price plunging by 50%.

Following which, the company went into debts of RM1.5 billion.

Many tin mines in Malaysia had to close as it was no longer economical to operate the tin mines.

For a whole five years until September 18, 1986, Mahathir’s government denied that it was the mystery tin buyer in the London Metal Exchange (LME).

During an Umno general assembly, Mahathir, for the first time, admitted that the government was involved in the whole Maminco scandal.

The current federal government under Prime Minister Najib Razak did not form any special task force to investigate Maminco.

But for the forex scandal, it has.

That seems had scared the living daylights out of several former government leaders and officers.

But Kit Siang, the man adored by many Pakatuns as “anti-graft crusader”, has suddenly turned on the switch off mode.

He is no longer seeking justice and fairness, or even demanding for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the forex scandal.

After fuming and foaming for umpteen years over the issue, Kit Siang now dare not lift a stern finger against it.

One can’t blame Kit Siang given he has gone to bed with Mahathir to form a political pact to ‘Save Malaysia’.

But to conceal his awkward situation, Kit Siang however, has issued several statements demanding for a similar task force to also investigate the 1MDB financial controversy if forex scandal were to be probed.

1MDB is an “open book” and most investigated company in Malaysia, said the company president and executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

But didn’t Kit Siang know that 1MDB was once described as an “open book” by its president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy as the company was being investigated by all relevant law enforcement agencies, local and abroad.

He even said 1MDB was arguably the most investigated company ever in Malaysia.

And, all the investigations into that “open book” proved nothing that can even be insinuated as a “scandal”.

It’s astonishing to know that a senior parliamentarian like Kit Siang was unaware about it.

Kit Siang, being a veteran leader of DAP from 1969 until now and still going strong – should know that Bank Negara forex scandal involved the country’s top financial institution – the Bank Negara, and it involved taxpayers’ money, whilst 1MDB is a mere company and did not involve taxpayers’ money.

Moreover, 1MDB financial issue was its debts while the forex scandal was about Bank Negara’s losses estimated to be billions.

All these years, Malaysians believed in Kit Siang’s tirades and rants against Bank Negara forex scandal.

But now he appeared reluctant to accept the special task force to investigate the forex scandal.

Even when he does, he imposes conditions.

DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang was screaming about the Bank Negara forex scandal for years, but has now gone into a switch off mode after forging political alliance with former Premier Mahathir.

One will expect a senior politician like Kit Siang to immediately welcome the task force set up to get to the bottom of the forex scandal.

But he didn’t.

Kit Siang change of stance has perplexed ordinary Malaysians, baffling them to wonder on whether the de facto opposition leader had indeed revealed his true-self or caught with his underpants in a compromising position.

For 22 years, Kit Siang has been screaming, ranting and launching seething attacks against scandals of Mahathir’s era.

But now he either goes into a denial mode, a silent mode or finally a switch off mode whenever these scandals pop up in the news.

It’s really amazing and amusing to see how a political marriage of convenience – or rather inconvenience – can transform a person.

Related links:
Lim Kit Siang should clean up own backyard first

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.