Call for Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM11 billion Perwaja scandal so that Eric Chia can "tell all" about the nation’s biggest financial scandal in history

Speech(2) at the PAS ceramah on the occasion of the visit of Kelantan Mentri Besar, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Permatang Pauh,  Sunday): Former Perwaja Steel chief, Tan Sri Eric Chia, told the Singapore Straits Times last Friday that he is now ready to "tell all" about the nation’s biggest financial scandal - the Perwaja steel scandal which had burdened Malaysian taxpayers with losses exceeding RM11 billion.

The Singapore Straits Times reported that after  keeping mum for the past four years, and being made "to look like a villain on the run, from friends and the law", Eric Chia  had spent six months collecting documents dealing transactions involving Perwaja from Chile, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Japan, "spent a couple of million ringgit"  and he is  now ready to "tell all".

Eric Chia said:

The  Anti-Corruption Agency had spent five fruitless years investigating  the Perwaja scandal although one of the four police reports lodged by former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last year on corruption and abuses of power in high government places involved the Perwaja scandal.

As nobody has any confidence that the ACA would be able to productively conclude the Perwaja investigations, the best and most effective way for Eric Cheah to "tell all" is for the government to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history where Eric Cheah can tell Malaysians how they got landed with a RM11 billion albatross.

On June 12, 2000, I had called on the Prime Minister to present a  White Paper on the latest twist in the the Perwaja scandal and  justify the government’s "bail-out of the bailor", Maju Holdings Sdn. Bhd.,  where taxpayers had lost another RM800 million  after Anwar’s  disclosures in May 1996, that Perwaja had chalked up RM2.9 billion in accumulated losses and RM6.9 billion in liabilities - bringing  Perwaja’s  total losses to close to RM11 billion.

The Singapore Straits Times  report  said Eric  Chia had written to Anwar twice in 1996 seeking an open inquiry into the Perwaja affair to be chaired by a retired judge, but there was no response.

This is now the time for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set up to conduct public hearings so that Malaysians can "know all" about the nation’s biggest financial scandal in history.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman