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Forex losses alone US$ 5.5bil: No wonder Dr M ‘hypercative’ with fear

Forex Losses by Dr. M

Forex losses alone US$ 5.5bil: No wonder Dr M ‘hypercative’ with fear
he’ll be exposed!

Written by Lim Kit Siang

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been more than his
hyper-active self in the past fortnight, not only making preposterous
statements about the political situation in the country but doing his
utmost to fob off any possibility that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri
Najib Razak might stick to his earlier timetable to hold 13th General
Election in June/July.

It was in the past two weeks that Mahathir:

· Made the wild and preposterous statement that the Bersih 3.0 rally
was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan Rakyat for violent
demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election
should the opposition fail to win it.

· Made another wild and preposterous statement when warning that the
defeat of UMNO would be akin to the Malays losing power in their own
country, when the coalition that would replace UMNO/Barisan Nasional
would be Pakatan Rakyat comprising PKR, PAS and DAP;

· Returned again and again to the theme that because of the Abdullah
premiership, the Najib government is still weak and not ready for the
13th General Election which he wants to be held off until after the
fasting month which ends in August.

Worried

However, the real reason why Mahathir is so hyper-active in the past
fortnight and making so many wild and preposterous statements is
because the former Prime Minister is worried that the truth will be
out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if
Pakatan Rakyat forms the national government in next polls.

In a forum yesterday in Penang on the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign
exchange losses scandal 20 years ago, a former Bank Negara insider,
former Bank Negara Deputy Governor Dr. Rosli Yaakop stepped forward to
throw some light on what was undoubtedly the biggest financial scandal
in the nation’s history.

Rosli named four persons constituting the “forex scandal elite club
masters” as responsible for the massive Bank Negara losses two decades
ago – 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.

Gambled recklessly

Rosli told the forum Jaffar and Nor were the biggest culprits by going
overboard in the forex speculation activities, which were against the
very grain of central bank principles.

He said the duo speculated and they gambled recklessly and
irresponsibly with no regard to the safety of Bank Negara’s assets.

Rosli accused Nor, who is the Tasek Gelugor MP, to have directly
caused the forex losses as he was the man tasked to speculate, and
ultimately gamble, Malaysian Ringgit against foreign currencies.

He said Nor, then Bank Negara advisor in charge of investment
department, would use his computer and other staff computers to
speculate and gamble in foreign exchange market.

This has led international forex players to believe that Bank Negara
had many aggressive market traders.

“But truth is it was Nor Yakcop did it all.”

Done with Daim’s and Dr M’s blessings

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.

In 1992, Bank Negara gambled on the British Pound. It bought the Pound
long and George Soros, major player in forex market, short.

When the Pound was devalued, Bank Negara lost USD5.5 billion and
George Soros gained USD1.7 billion.

Bank Negara then claimed it was only paper loss of RM9.3 billion.

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.

I had estimated in Parliament two decades ago that Bank Negara lost a
colossal RM30 billion. But Bank Negara claimed RM10.1 billion loss in
1992 and RM5.7 billion in 1993.

How they cheated and duped the nation blind

Rosli said yesterday that Bank Negara claims of losses were
“schematically understated”, hidden through revaluation of BNM’s gold
holding and revaluation of quoted investment.

Rosli mentioned that my call in Parliament at the time for a royal
commission of inquiry into the Bank Negara in forex scandal was
ignored as an open investigation would prove politically disastrous as
the details of the scandal can be gruesome and cause damaging
embarrassment because of the involvement of people high-up.

Rosli said certain people would have been in jail as criminal elements
existed in the forex scandal. The criminal elements were negligence,
overstepping of power, falsification of accounts, “creative
accounting”, misinformation, breach of trust and corruption.

If Pakatan wins, re-open forex scandal

At the Penang forum yesterday, Rosli suggested that Pakatan Rakyat, if
were to capture Putrajaya, should re-open investigation on the Bank
Negara forex scandal of 1992.

I fully agree with Rosli. If Pakatan Rakyat forms the federal
government in the next general election, there should be a Royal
Commission of Inquiry into the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses
scandal in 1992, as well as into all the other financial scandals
during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership.

Barry Wain, in his book “Malaysian Maverick”, estimates that Malaysia
lost RM100 billion just in four financial scandals during Mahathir’s
premiership.

But this is what Mahathir does not want and most afraid of.

If Mubarak got life imprisoment, why should Dr M go scot-free?

Yesterday, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to
life imprisonment for complicity in the killing of protesters during
last year’s uprising.

I am not suggesting that Mahathir should face jail sentences for the
financial scandals in his 22-year premiership but at minimum,
Malaysians are entitled to know the truth about these financial
scandals which would serve as painful national lessons to prevent
their recurrence.

But clearly, this is what Mahathir would not want and would do his
utmost to prevent, including outclassing himself in the wild and
preposterous statements about Pakatan Rakyat in the run-up to the next
general election.

Related Stories:

Dr M worried sick: Now the ‘de-facto PM’, he’s calling the shots again
as Najib flounders

Cut the reverse psychology Dr M, are you threatening violence if BN loses GE-13?

Mahathir’s Proton, a mistake we should have avoided right from the
start – Koon Yew Yin

Don’t be angry with Dr M, pity him for he knows BN can lose GE-13 – Kit Siang

Dr M: Najib’s govt needs to be “more effective”, people see us as weak

Lim Kit Siang is the DAP adviser and MP for Ipoh Timur

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