RCI on BNM forex a political ploy against Dr M, Pakatan claims

(MMO) – Pakatan Harapan leaders claimed today the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the multibillion ringgit foreign exchange losses of the late 1980s to be a political ploy against its newest member Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) communications director Khalid Samad noted the inquiry into the alleged losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was only decided on over two decades after Dr Mahathir stepped down from office as prime minister and had turned against the government.

“It is politically motivated. It only has been raised after Dr Mahathir is with the Opposition. If he is not with us, this issue won’t be raised. There is a clear political intent,” he said at a joint press conference at the PKR headquarters here.

The Shah Alam MP said if the RCI later found Dr Mahathir who is now chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) “guilty”, public perception towards the four-party Opposition alliance will also be affected.

“If he is found guilty… there will be some impact on the image of the Opposition. But for the fact that it is being done, the [RCI’s] findings is also questionable,” Khalid said.

PKR president and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who was also present at the news conference said she welcomed the RCI.

She noted that there is “no time limit for justice”, but added that the investigation is “23 years too late” and claimed it to be a “distraction” from current issues facing the government.

“I don’t want to be involved in this forex issue. It is already 23 years too late already,” she added.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement yesterday saying the Cabinet agreed on the formation of the RCI after the special task force on the same matter determined there was sufficient evidence to merit further investigation.

The special task force formed in February found that actual losses were greater than what was previously presented to former ministers and Parliament.

The special task force also discovered that facts of the case had been obfuscated through the presentation of misleading information to ministers and lawmakers previously.

The scandal was among the biggest when Dr Mahathir was prime minister but remained unresolved till he resigned in October 2003.