Edge owner denies claims he manipulated ringgit

Tong Kooi Ong

(The Malaysian Insider) – Businessman and owner of The Edge Media Group Datuk Tong Kooi Ong (pic) has denied allegations made on anonymous blogs that he is betting against the ringgit to make it crash for personal profit, and is trying to identify the individuals behind these claims to sue them.

In a statement, Tong, the group’s executive chairman, said Bank Negara should be well aware of the allegations against him and the central bank would have contacted him if he was indeed involved in currency speculation.

“I vehemently and absolutely deny the accusations. I did not at any time short the ringgit.

“I am an equity analyst, besides being an established entrepreneur. I am a value investor. I have never shorted currencies or equities. I acquire and build companies, create value for shareholders and create employment through ideas and innovation. My track record speaks for itself.

“I am certain Bank Negara Malaysia will be aware if there is such a heinous crime. Bank Negara has not contacted me and I pledge to cooperate fully with Bank Negara if my assistance is needed at any time,” Tong said today.

He called the claims “malicious lies and fabrications” which were “beneath human decency”.

They were carried on the blogs malaysianexpose.wordpress.com and kronismemahathir.wordpress.com recently.

“I am currently unable to ascertain the individual(s) who is or are responsible for the malicious lies against me, and what their intentions are. I will pursue legal course of action once I am able to identify those responsible,” he said.

The blogs claimed that Tong had taken a US$1.4 billion short position on the ringgit through a proxy in two transactions in August last year and in January 2015.

But Tong said it would be impossible to “break Bank Negara” or crash the ringgit because the country’s foreign exchange reserves amounted to more than US$110 billion, while the country’s current account was in surplus.