PUTRAJAYA – Former Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Ainum Mohd Saaid today said she cannot recall ever saying the now infamous words, “Orang atasan cakap jangan campur tangan” (the higher-ups are saying don’t interfere) to a former staff member.
Ainum, 71, who took the stand today as the 15th witness in the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign exchange trading losses in the 1990s, said that to the best of her knowledge; she didn’t utter those words.
“To the best of my knowledge, I did not utter the words. I do however remember receiving a letter dated Jan 23, 1990, which bore the title ‘Forex Trading Bank Negara’,” she said.
The letter was written by P. Kanason, a former auditor with the Auditor General’s Office.
In the RCI hearing on Aug 29, Kanason had testified that Bank Negara’s forex trading at the time did not comply with the requirements of the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958.
Kanason, 78, had explained that at the time, he had talked to Ainum, who told him that the trading was not legal or in compliance with the requirements of the act, adding that a written reply would be given soon.
However, he said, no such written reply was given, which led him to ask Ainum further on the matter.
Kanason said Ainum told him there was nothing they could do to stop Bank Negara or expose the crime as “the higher-ups said don’t interfere”.
The RCI today enters its sixth proceedings.
Led by chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the five-man panel is tasked with finding the cause of Bank Negara’s forex scandal of 1990s, with losses amounting to some RM31 billion. – Additional reporting by RAHMAT KHAIRULRIJAL/ NST