Forex scandal possibly cost Malaysia RM100b, ex-official claims

(MMO) -Malaysia’s foreign reserves could have been RM100 billion greater had Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) not lost heavily in the currency market over two decades ago, according to Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid.

The former BNM assistant governor, whose allegations that BNM frittered away more than US$10 billion (RM42.8 billion) prompted renewed examination of the scandal this year, based this on the opportunity cost of losing the alleged amount then.

“We are losing RM4 billion in income annually because of the scandal. The total losses then were US$10 billion which is equivalent to about RM40 billion today.

“The money would have increased to US$ 26.6 billion or more than RM100 billion, if it had been kept in government savings, at a compound interest of four per cent annually,” he was quoted as saying.

Murad then said the announced Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) must proceed despite allegations of political motivation.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced the RCI on June 21, saying the special taskforce recommended its formation after concluding 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.

It also concluded that facts of the case had been obfuscated through the presentation of misleading information to ministers and lawmakers previously.