The RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal still remains largely a mystery as the government has refused up to date to allow a full public investigation as to how Bank Negara could speculate with such vast sums of public funds in the international forex markets and incur such colossal losses. It will be a sad day for public integrity and democratic accountability in Malaysia if the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal is treated as if it is a minor ‘get-rich-quick’ swindle of RM30,000! - Lim Kit Siang, 1994
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, when launching the book ‘The Bank Negara RM30 Billion Forex Losses Scandal’ in Penang on Thursday, August 11, 1994 at 12 noon
PAC should investigate into the RM30 billion Bank Negara Forex Losses Scandal and present a full report to Parliament in October of Bank Negara’s speculative forays into the foreign exchange markets and losses
The RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal still remains largely a mystery as the government has refused up to date to allow a full public investigation as to how Bank Negara could speculate with such vast sums of public funds in the international forex markets and incur such colossal losses.
RM30 billion is a colossal sum. If a person is to strike a RM2 million lottery every day, it would take him 41 years to reach RM30 billion!
If RM30 billion is divided among the 19 million Malaysians, including a new-born babe, everyone will he entitled to RM1,578!
Or alternatively, it could mean a tax holiday for all Malaysians where no individual income tax need be paid by all Malaysians for eight years!
Or it could be used to build 1.2 million low-cost houses at RM25,000 per unit, and resolve Penang’s long-standing low-cost housing problem overnight as well as that of the whole country; or build 45 universities, five North-South Highways or four Kuala Lumpur International Airports like the one being built in Sepang!
RM30 billion is equal to 120 times the annual supply and development estimates for the entire Penang State Government!
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee should investigate into Bank Negara’s RM30 billion forex losses scandal and present a full report of Bank Negara’s speculative forays into the international forex markets to Parliament when it meets in October.
Parliament appointed a new PAC Chiarman, Datuk Dr. jamaluddin Jarjis in May and I hope Dr. Jamaluddin will not disappoint parliament by not daring to inquire into Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses, or he would have to justify his suitability to contimue as PAC Chairman in Parliament in October.
It will be a sad day for public integrity and democratic accountability in Malaysia if the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal is treated as if it is a minor ‘get-rich-quick’ swindle of RM30,000!
It is to raise public consciousness for the need for greater accountability by the Bank Negara and the Government over the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal that the DAP has published this booklet, ‘The Bank Negara RM30 billion Forex Losses Scandal’.
This booklet is available in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese, and the Tamil edition will be published shortly.
Call on Anwar Ibrahim to issue a White Paper and explain why the Government has not taken action against a senior Barisan Nasional leader and a top community leader involved in the Rakyat Merchant Bankers Sdn. Bhd. scandal of 110 fictitious accounts involving RM330 million?
Recently, the Police arrested 10 senior executive officers of the Rakyat Merchant Bankers Berhad (RMBB) in connection with a RM180 million loan fraud.
In today’s press, it was reported that the remand order against a senior executive officer of Rakyat Merchant Bankers Berhad had been extended to August 15.
I do not want to refer to the arrest of these 10 senior executive officers, but want to question the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, why he has not kept his pledge in Parliament in April this year that the Government would take action against those responsible for the colossal Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. losses, regardless of their political connections’.
Bank Negara took over the day-to-day operations of Rakyat Merchant Bankers Sdn. Bhd. in March this year, following investigations into irregularities in the bank’s loan approvals last December.
Bank Negara and the Police should explain why they had not taken action against a senior Barisan Nasional leader and a top community leader involved in the Rakyat Merchant bankers Sdn Bhd. scandal 110 fictitious accounts involving RM330 million!
Bank Negara had publicly revealed that Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. had approved loans totaling RM150 million to 50 “fictitious” individuals and another RM180 million to 60 companies.
There was an avoidance of a single customer limit of RM3 million by creating 50 individual loan applicants.
Bank Negara found that there were only two beneficiaries to the RM150 million loans.
In the April meeting of Parliament, Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. had become insolvent after suffering estimated losses of RM624.1 million as at Feb. 28 and that the losses were due to loans to certain individuals.
He pledged that the government would take action against those responsible for the bank’s insolvency, including those with possible ‘political connections’.
Anwar should issue a White Paper on the Rakyat Merchants Bankers Bhd. losses and explain why the Government had not acted on his pledge to Parliament to take action against all individuals responsible for the bank’s losses, regardless of their ‘political connections’.