DAP calls for a public commission of inquiry into the RM600 million Risda Replanting Fund scandal


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): DAP calls for a public commission of inquiry into the RM600 million Risda Replanting Fund scandal.

It is very shocking that the Minister responsible for Risda, the Minister for Rural Development, Datuk Anuar Musa should be completely in the dark about the RM600 million Risda Replanting Fund scandal, and had to ask Risda (Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) to submit a detailed report within three days.

What had Anuar Musa been doing all these years as Rural Development Minister? Why didnít Anuar Musa ask the Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik who disclosed the RM600 million Risda Replanting Fund scandal on Saturday, to give him all the necessary details?

Keng Yaik had said that the RM600 million had gone "missing" due to unprofitable investments and the purchase of non-beneficial assets. As a result, smallholders could no longer apply for loans for the replanting of rubber trees as the fund has been exhausted.

Furthermore, as a result of these losses, Risda could now only plant rubber trees on 20,000 ha of land annually, in sharp contrast to the increasing number of old rubber trees which now stand on 200,000 ha of land.

The spectacle of one Cabinet Minister not knowing about a RM600 million scandal under the jurisdiction of his Ministry when another Minister knew about it does not reflect well on the Cabinet and in particular on the Rural Development Minister.

The Acting Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should ask Anuar Musa not just about the RM600 million Risda Replanting Fund scandal, but the second scandal why Anuar knew nothing about it - and should consider whether he should recommend to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, for the removal of Anuar Musa as Cabinet Minister for gross incompetence and irresponsibility.

(2/6/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong