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Bank Negara Forex Scandal: Royal Inquiry Starts Today

in Latest/Politics

DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has been calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara since 1994.

However, there was no mention of support from the veteran statesman when the RCI officially started today.

In fact, just a few years back, DAP had held a public forum on the forex losses at the Penang Institute which featured none other than Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as its main speaker.

The forum held in 2012 also featured DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari and Dr Rosli Yaakop, former Deputy Manager of Bank Negara.

Pic: Penang Institute

The article quotes Dr Rosli as highlighting that Bank Negara Malaysia was once “a dominant force in the forex scene for some years.”

Dr Rosli in his talk pointed out that ‘Bank Negara lost about USD5.5 billion (RM20.9 billion) in this speculation, but only admitted “paper losses” of RM9.3 billion. The exact amount remains a mystery until today’, Penang Institute reports.

Anwar followed up with his account of the scandal and his role in it claiming that ‘he was kept in the dark regarding the issue until things spiraled out of control and losses were colossal in 1994’

Anwar also pointed out that the late Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein (former BNM governor) and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (former BNM assistant governor) resigned shortly the scandal broke but they were never reprimanded.

Pic: dinmerican.wordpress.com

Anwar was Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998, had previously stated in a media statement issued by PKR that Tan Sri Jaafar admitted to him that Nor Mohamed was identified as the officer responsible at the time, NST reports.

The DAP forum ended with the speakers calling for a RCI to investigate the issue and bring the persons responsible to justice.

Well, today the first RCI session started at 9.40am today in the Putrajaya Court of Appeals.

Tasked with probing Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) foreign exchange market losses in the 1980s and 1990s, the RCI is chaired by Petronas chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, The Malaysian Insight reports.

In today’s proceedings, Sidek read out the commission’s term of reference:

– To determine the authenticity of the allegation on the foreign exchange losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia in the 1990s and its implications to the national economy;

– To determine whether BNM’s involvement in the foreign exchange activities which caused the losses contradicted the Central Bank Ordinance 1958 or any relevant laws;

– To determine whether there were hidden facts or information relating to foreign exchange losses suffered by BNM and misleading statements given to the cabinet, parliament and the public;

– To recommend suitable actions to be taken against those found to be directly or indirectly involved in causing the losses and hiding the facts and information on the losses; and

– To recommend appropriate measures to ensure the incident will not recur.

Hearing before the RCI is set to commence on 21 August while future court dates fixed for the RCI are 24 August, 29 August, 30 August, 6 September, 7 September, 18 September, 19 September and 20 September.

Sidek concluded today’s session by announcing that the commission will complete its probe within 3 months to present the report to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. -mD

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