Investigation on Chang Min Thien Foundation

Police Report
by Ronnie Liu

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): In a statement released on Thursday, 2003-02-27, MCA's President Dato Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik has said that the Chang Min Thien's Foundation now stands at RM18, 000,000, and he intends to release a sum of RM2, 000,000 to the UTAR (set up and controlled by MCA) for scholarship or study loan.

Again on Saturday, 2003-03-15, Ling Liong Sik announced publicly that the account of Chang Min Thien has been audited and it now stands at RM18,700, 000 ( note: an increase of RM700,000 compared to the figure announced on 27 Feb 2003). But at the same time, he said the foundation could be more than RM20, 000, 000 if added with interest (see attached press report). This has clearly shown that he has failed to provide an exact figure.

This came as a surprise to all Malaysians who have been following the Chang Min Thien Foundation closely.

If one was to work out the interest according to the rates published by the Bank Negara (see attached rates published by the Bank Negara, V.1 Interest Rates: Banking Institutions) for the past 22 years, assuming interest would be paid only at the end of every year, one would know that the original principal sum of RM10, 000,000 could have collected a real interest of at least RM16, 284, 224 if it was based on savings account interest rate.

The 10-million Ringgit donation from the late Chang Min Thien could have accumulated to RM 46,208,380.71 if the money was placed as 12-month fixed deposit for 22 years.

It should have accumulated even more interest if the RM10m fund was placed by way of Banker's Acceptance (in which one can negotiate with the bank for an interest rate higher than any fixed deposit accounts).

It could reach RM 63,716,383.13 if the money was calculated based on the BLR stipulated by the Bank Negara.

Under normal circumstances, much of the fund should have been deposited by way of Banker's Acceptance at a negotiated rate for better returns.

If the education fund was managed well and good by the MCA, it could have benefited more than 124,566 needy students (based on RM4, 000 per student per annum). And the Foundation should continue to benefit up to 13,429 students every year.

Ling Liong Sik now owes the public a full explanation on why the Chang Min Thien Foundation stands at only RM18, 700,000 after 22 years " untouched" in the bank.

Both Ling Liong Sik and his party MCA were trusted to manage the fund donated by the late Chang Min Thien. The late Chang Min Thien's family and the Malaysian public have the right to see that the fund would not be
misappropriated. They also have the right to know why the interest collected is way below the expectation of the public, and why the fund was not being used to help needy students until today.

If Ling Liong Sik once again fails the test of accountability on the Chang Min Thien's Foundation,the public has no reason whatsoever to donate towards the UTAR building fund initiated by Ling Liong Sik.

I hope the Police can immediately start an investigation on the Foundation in the name of justice and public interest.


*  Liu Tian Khiew, DAP Education Bureau Chairman and National Publicity Secretary