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Why 1MDB Is Not Okay And The Forex Loss Okay?

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In yesterday’s article, The other RM58 billion disappearing into thin air, some readers commented that the 1992-1994 Forex realised loss was okay while the yet to be determined 1MDB loss is not okay. I suppose that means the Forex loss was bona fide or done with good intentions while the 1MDB loss is mala fide or done with bad intentions.

Maybe these people have not heard the saying: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Even the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were done with good intentions but I doubt the Japanese who were atomised in those bombings would agree with you considering most of the victims were women, children and old folks who never carried a gun in their lives.

Anyway, in case many still harbour the idea that previous scandals were acceptable scandals while current scandals are unacceptable scandals maybe you can read what Free Malaysia Today reported on 3rd June 2012.

A former Bank Negara insider has named four powerful elites as main players who caused the central bank’s massive RM30-billion loss in the international foreign exchange speculation scandal some 20 years ago.

In his explosive revelation, retired Bank Negara deputy manager Dr Rosli Yaakop named former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin, ex-Bank Negara Governor, the late Jaffar Hussein and current Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit Government Nor Mohamed Yakcop as the “forex scandal elite club masters.”

Rosli told a forum here yesterday Jaffar and Nor were biggest culprits by going overboard in the speculative foreign currency venture. He said the duo speculated and they gambled recklessly and irresponsibly with no regard to the safety of Bank Negara’s assets.

He revealed that they wanted to beat George Soros, perhaps, to impress their bosses that they were experts in forex dealings. “I think it was a deliberate attempt to make money for certain people using Bank Negara as piggy ride,”

Rosli said the central bank ventured into speculative forex market in a big way during Daim’s tenure as finance minister. “The order to go and make money in the forex market was from Daim with Dr Mahathir’s blessing,” Rosli disclosed, adding that Jaffar was their “Yes Man” Governor at that time.

Due to the involvement of people high-up, Rosli said an open investigation would prove politically disastrous as details of the scandal were gruesome and could cause damaging embarrassment to the-powers-that-be.

He said the criminal elements were negligence, overstepping of power, falsification of accounts, “creative accounting”, misinformation, breach of trust and corruption. “But, they had protectors,” he said.

And this was what Lim Kit Siang said in his speech to Parliament in 1994, the year the news regarding the scandal first broke:

In the special DAP motion on the Bank Negara forex losses in Parliament last April, the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim strenuously denied that Bank Negara had ‘speculated’ or ‘gambled’ in foreign exchange.

Anwar said that as Finance Minister, he was ‘fully satisfied with the reasons’ given by Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein for the Bank Negara’s forex losses. However, the person who must also bear responsibility for the colossal Bank Negara forex losses, apart from Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, must be the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, himself.

As Anwar had assured Parliament last April that he was ‘satisfied’ with Tan Sri Jaffar’s explanation for the 1992 Bank Negara forex losses, what had Tan Sri Jaffar done differently in 1993 with regard to the 1993 Bank Negara forex losses to require his resignation?

Furthermore, Anwar Ibrahim had misled Parliament last July when I questioned him whether Bank Negara had suffered more forex losses. Anwar said that this was not true as he had been monitoring the Bank Negara’s forex dealings weekly.

On July 19, 1993, I asked Anwar Ibrahim a supplementary question during question time as to whether at that date, Bank Negara’s provision of RM2.7 billion contingent liability for forward forex trading in the 1992 Bank Negara accounts had not only been confirmed, but even more forex losses had been incurred.

This is Anwar’s reply, from the Hansard of 19th July 1993 (p.28):

“Dato ‘ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim: Tuan Yang di-Pertua, dukacita saya memaklumkan ini satu berita yang kurang baik bagi Yang Berhormat dari Tanjong. Kerugian yang dimasudkan itu tidak berlaku dan tidak bertambah. Yang Berhormat mahu percaya atau tidak tetapi saya ada maklumat yang sebenar tentang keadaan tersebut.”

“Saya juga meneliti tiap-tiap minggu perkembangan kerana masalah yang dihadapi sebelum ini. … Saya ingin member jaminan kepada Yang Berhormat dari Tanjong Bahawa perkara ini kita teliti lebih dekat dan kita lebih waspada kerana pengalaman yang lalu.”

In this one short answer, Anwar Ibrahim had misled Parliament and the nation on three matters:

1. that by July 1993, the provision in the 1992 Bank Negara accounts for RM2.7 billion contingent liability for forward forex trading had not been confirmed;

2. that Bank Negara had not suffered more forex losses; and

3. that his weekly monitoring of Bank Negara’s forex dealings would prevent further colossal losses arising from Bank Negara’s forward forex trading.

Some readers are saying that I am suggesting that since the country has had previous disastrous encounters this means we should forget about 1MDB. I am not saying that. The DAP Red Bean Army cyber-troopers are saying that I am saying that.

What I am saying is that we cannot keep harping on the perceived transgressions of our enemies while the transgressions of our previous enemies who have now become our friends are conveniently pushed aside and regarded as irrelevant because these people are no longer our enemies but are now our friends.

For example, ex-Selangor Menteri Besar Mat Taib was once the most cursed person in Selangor. Even the Palace hated him and still hates him for blowing RM5 billion of Selangor’s money. Yes, RM5 billion of Selangor’s money went down the toilet.

But then when he joined PAS suddenly everything he did is forgotten and forgiven and he is seen as pure as Mother Teresa. The fact that he has donated a lot of that rompak money to Pakatan Rakyat does not make him any less a thief. It just makes Pakatan Rakyat also a thief.

Lim Kit Siang once cursed Anwar for lying to Parliament regarding Malaysia’s RM270 billion exposure (worth RM518 billion today) and RM30 billion loss (worth RM58 billion today) playing the market. The late Karpal Singh also stood up to question Anwar in Parliament regarding the sodomy allegations against him. Karpal even said, “Anwar perlu taubat.” Now, Anwar is god-sent and the man who is going to save Malaysia.-by Raja Petra Kamarudin/Malaysia Today

 

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