Mahathir’s forex scandal – RCI will determine actual losses and identify culprits

 |Feb 3, 2017
Bank Negara assistant manager Rosli Yaakop.
Bank Negara assistant manager Rosli Yaakop.

Malaysiakini’s June 3, 2012 report quoting Rosli Yaakop, an ex-manager of Bank Negara, is very interesting.

First of all it fingers Mahathir Mohamad and Daim Zainuddin as two of the four culprits involved in Bank Negara’s forex fiasco.

Secondly, Rosli said, “Experts estimated Bank Negara’s exposure for having lost that much was USD27 to USD33 billion, which was five times more than its foreign reserves and its entire assets of USD20.7 billion in 1992.”

If what Rosli said is true (and since Malaysiakini carried it then it must be true since Malaysiakini never lies and always tells the truth) that would mean Bank Negara lost an equivalent of RM255 billion in today’s value.

Well, whether you take the value then (US$27 to US$33 billion), or the value now (roughly RM255 billion), both are a colossal amount of money and Malaysians must be told the truth regarding this episode.

Rosli went on to say:
“Kit Siang’s suggestion for a royal commission of inquiry was ignored and Jaffar even did not bother to attend public accounts committee (PAC) inquiry. He suggested that Pakatan Rakyat, if were to capture Putrajaya, should re-open investigation on the scandal, which was approved by the audience.”

Yes, considering there are so many different stories as to who was behind this and who was to blame, plus the figure that Bank Negara lost varies from a mere RM10 billion to a huge RM155 billion, this makes the RCI even more important.

We all know what happened in the 1MDB matter and so many investigations have already been conducted and reports issued.

But not a single investigation or report has been done on the Bank Negara forex scandal.

What is feared is that not all that money (whether RM10 billion, RM30 billion, US$30 billion, or whatever is actually the correct amount) may have been lost playing the forex market.

‘Black Wednesday’ was on September 16, 1992 and George Soros got out in just a few days and made a profit of US$1.2 billion.

Bank Negara, however, was gambling away from 1989 to 1994, which is a period of five years, and not over just a few days like what Soros did.

So it does not make sense that Bank Negara lost all that money because of Soros.

It sounds like Bank Negara suffered a misappropriation of funds and they hid that crime under ‘forex losses’ whereas only part of it was due to the forex losses.

The RCI would be able to determine this and if a lot of that money was actually misappropriated, and not actually lost playing the forex market, then some, if not all, of that may still be recoverable.

After all, Mahathir and his children are estimated to be worth a few billion ringgit (or RM100 billion if you include all those assets parked under trustees, proxies, nominees and cronies) while Daim is estimated to be worth another RM60 billion.

Hence the government can recover quite a bit of money once the RCI manages to dig deep into this matter.

Mahathir’s and his family’s wealth is enormous.

No doubt Mahathir tried to explain this by saying he did not need to spend any of his monthly salary over 22 years because as Prime Minister everything is paid for.

But even if Mahathir did not spend a single sen and saved even penny over 22 years, he should not have more than RM20 million, let alone RM20 billion or RM100 billion.

That maths just does not add up, which means that the money must have come from somewhere else and not from saving his salary and not spending a penny for 22 years.

Daim’s and Mahathir’s family wealth cannot have come from legitimate sources.

For Daim and Mahathir’s family to have that much money it can only be from criminal activities such as corruption and misappropriation of funds.

The question is, how much of that was misappropriated from Bank Negara?

The RCI can determine this and if necessary make moves to recover the money from Daim, Mahathir and his sons.

The fact that Daim, Mahathir and his three sons are multi-billionaires is no secret.

The whole world knows this.

But what all of us do not know is where did all these billions come from other than Mahathir saving his salary for 22 years and not spending a penny?

If Mahathir saved his salary for 22 years and did not spend a penny that would mean someone else is paying for whatever they own and spent, or the money was stolen.

That would make Mahathir the biggest thief in Malaysian history.

Lim Kit Siang has been demanding that the RCI be set up to investigate Bank Negara’s losses (even though since Mahathir agreed to make him the deputy prime minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the general election Kit Siang has been keeping very quiet).

Anwar Ibrahim also demanded the same.

Prime Minister Najib Razak must prove he is honest, open and transparent by not ignoring Kit Siang’s and Anwar’s demands for the RCI to be set up and set one up as soon as possible.

Then we will know how much Bank Negara really lost, and why they did so, and whether it is all due to playing the forex market or whether misappropriation is involved, like many people suspect. – Malaysia Today

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Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.