Describing DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang and former Premier Mahathir Mohamad as sour grapes, Umno treasurer-general Salleh Said Keruak slammed the duo for not comparing apples to apples.
In his blog posting today, Salleh blasted both Kit Siang and Mahathir when they said a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) was needed not just for the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals but also for 1MDB as well.
“Maybe Kit Siang and Mahathir overlooked the fact that 1MDB has already been investigated by the PAC, special task force, auditor-general, attorney-general, police, MACC, etc., plus reports regarding the matter were prepared.
“Regarding the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals, however, no such thing was done and, in fact, at that time Parliament was misinformed about the matter and only today are we discovering the truth,” said Salleh.
Salleh, who is also the communication and multimedia commission minister, pointed out that the government’s real investment in 1MDB was only RM1 million as the initial paid up capital.
“It is Mahathir who is creating the impression that the government lost RM42 billion, which is not true and a fabrication.
“In the case of the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals, the losses were real and involved massive capital injections as well as bail-outs to avoid bankruptcy,” Salleh said.
Salleh said that the financial status of 1MDB was like an open book, unlike BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals which until today the exact amount of losses were not known.
“That is why the need for a RCI on these two matters.
“The government has never needed to bail out 1MDB with any capital injection other than the initial RM1 million.
“In the case of the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals, it cost the country hundreds of billions.
“Even then we do not know how much the amount really was and only a RCI can get to the truth regarding the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals,” Salleh said.
Mahathir, in a press conference today, said he welcomed the calls for a RCI to be formed to probe the alleged loss of billions of ringgit by Bank Negara due to speculation in the foreign exchange (forex) market in the 1990s.
The former prime minister, however, claimed that the issue of forex losses was raised to divert attention away from current concerns.
“Don’t try to hide by referring to something that occurred 40 years ago, form a RCI but also for 1MDB” he said.
Also present at the press conference on Tuesday was DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang who denied claims that he had made a “u-turn” with regard to the forex and Bumiputera Malaysia Finance (BMF) issues.
“I have challenged them to show how I have made a u-turn because I stand by what I have said in and outside Parliament on both these controversies,” he said, adding that he stood by his previous calls for a RCI into the scandals including 1MDB.