LAST_UPDATEFri, 20 Jul 2018 4pm

BNM Forex RCI Chairman Arrives At Istana Negara To Present Findings To King

Pic: NSTPic: NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Sidek Hassan, chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara Malaysia’s forex trading losses in the 1990s has arrived at Istana Negara to present the commission’s findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Sidek arrived at 4.05pm.

He will present the RCI’s findings to Sultan Muhammad V during a one-hour audience.

The commission had wrapped up its inquiry into the case on Sept 19.

The RCI sitting saw the testimonies of 25 witnesses recorded, while the commission had also pored through 42 documents.

On its first day, the RCI had revealed that RM31.5 billion was lost between 1991 and 1994 and that the figures had been hidden from the central bank.

Among the personalities who were summoned included Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who served as prime minister during the period when the losses took place.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was the finance minister at the time, also appeared before the panel.

Former BNM adviser Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop had also given his testimony to the commission.

A key witness in the proceedings was however BNM assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid. He claimed Anwar had known about the losses as the former had briefed him while on a flight to Hawaii in 1994.

Murad had also claimed that the latter had remarked that should word of the losses be made public, he would have to step down as finance minister.

He also testified that he had informed then-BNM governor Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein about the losses in 1992 but was “scolded” as his boss did not believe him.

Murad later claimed that there was ‘no check and balance system’ in the BNM foreign exchange trading then. He added that despite a prohibition on transactions that were speculative in nature under the Central Bank of Malaysia Ordinance 1958, the trading done in the 1980s until 1993 was speculative and a form of gambling.

Murad had further alleged that the losses were the “biggest scandal in world banking history”.

He had claimed that the cover-up had to be done to protect BNM’s image and that of the Malaysian government.

Sidek, who is a former chief secretary to the government, was assisted by High Court judge Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) co-chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon and Malaysian Institute of Accountants member K. Puspanathan.

The commission’s secretary was Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail. He is the Finance Ministry’s strategic investment division director.