Bank Negara is giving Ismail Sabri Yaakob a bad name

Ismail Sabri must be made aware that Najib Razak and Umno were brought down in May 2018 because Bank Negara, the MACC, the AGC, Bukit Aman, and so on, were playing an important role in hurting the government. If Ismail Sabri allows all these ‘Little Napoleons’ to bermaharajalela, the people are going to curse him for their problems. In fact, that is already happening.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Bank Negara Malaysia was regarded as one of the best central banks in Asia — until 1980, that is. Then two things happened. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over as the new prime minister of Malaysia and Bank Negara saw a new governor after 18 years of Tun Ismail Mohd Ali’s superb stewardship.

First came Abdul Aziz Taha and then Jaafar Hussein. Jaafar Hussein was pancung as the kambing hitam for the RM31.5 billion (worth RM70 billion today) Bank Negara disaster from playing the FOREX market (they needed a fall guy for the disaster or else Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim would have to take the blame).

On 1st May 2000, Zeti Akhtar Aziz took over as the new governor followed by Muhammad Ibrahim and now Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. After Tun Ismail left, Bank Negara has been run like the Wild, Wild West — raping, pillaging, and murdering at will, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Bank Negara is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog, and sometimes we wonder whether Bank Negara’s job is to sabotage the economy and erode investor confidence so that prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob can be brought down. Luckily the simple-minded Malays cannot see beyond harga ayam and are blind to the shenanigans of Bank Negara.

But the corporate world is watching and they can see that Bank Negara is like bagi kambing jaga sireh, or putting the fox in charge of the hen house. And let me give you one example.

Two days ago, The Star published this story:


Dear Thelma: I’m drowning under financial burden and have no hope left

I invested my life savings of RM50K in a travel-related company which is a subsidiary of the parent company which is on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) list of regulayees.

I have been receiving regular monthly returns from the company from the day I invested in 2019 until November 2021 when, following BNM’s raid on the parent company, all its accounts as well as its subsidiaries were frozen. l have thus lost my monthly source of income which I was very dependent on.

I am a single 77+ year old private-sector retiree with no other source of income and I depend on the monthly returns from the company.

I live alone in a rented house and have no dependants.

I do not get in touch with relatives and have no desire to do so. I like being alone and am happy being so.

Going to live with others in a government-funded facility is not an option.

I have some medical issues, chief of which is that I am unable to walk short distances nor stand for short periods as I have bad knees, l rely on a cane when I go out for food or to supermarkets.

I wrote an impassioned letter to the principal director of the company detailing my predicament and asking for the return of my funds but have received no response.

I approached BNM as a last resort but was told that only the courts have the authority to approve any release of funds that’s frozen.

At the moment, the case is still under investigation – and that about finishes all hopes of my getting my money back.

I have been surviving on the little savings l have, which are almost depleted.

I have therefore decided to end it all when my funds run out, as the stigma attached to being homeless and living on the streets would be unthinkable.

The thought that the impending end is drawing near leaves me depressed, stressed and scared at the same time at how l have to find the courage to execute the plan that I have set out.

During one of my worst moments, I contacted a helpline but that didn’t solve anything.

I am an avid follower of your column and am hoping you might offer some of your wise counselling.



There are many such cases like the above where companies have suffered at the hands of the regulators such as Bank Negara with no regard for those who are going to bear the financial loss.

Caely says MACC issues freeze order on bank accounts; unable to pay salary, suppliers (READ HERE)

56 CIMB customers seek court action against Bank Negara (READ HERE)

Over the years, Malaysia Today has written several articles on the shenanigans of Bank Negara. When Malaysia Today first revealed the story about Zeti Aziz’s family receiving kickbacks from Jho Low, many could not believe this woman of a famous man could do such a thing. Then the MACC confirmed that Zeti’s family had indeed received money from Jho Low and had, in fact, surrendered the money seized by the Singapore authorities. The money was repatriated back to Malaysia, proving that Zeti herself was party to the plundering the country’s national wealth.

Malaysia Today also revealed that the current governor, Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, was another culprit, who at the time she was the Deputy Governor had approved Najib’s remittances of money in and out of the country through Ambank. As a result, for its wrongdoing, Ambank was forced to pay a RM2.83 billion settlement to 1MDB. (Shamsiah had actually advised the government that Ambank should be penalised not more than RM600 million, kononnya, to prevent the banking system from collapsing).

As Governor of the Central Bank, it is also Shamsiah’s duty to take measures to protect the value of the Ringgit. However, she has not done so, and the Ringgit continues to slide against other currencies. As a result, all food imports have become so expensive, and the public does not realise that the expensive food is because of the weak Ringgit. Instead of blaming Bank Negara, the people are blaming the Prime Minister and are asking for his head on a silver platter. And the anti-Ismail Sabri gang in Umno are singing the mantra that the weak Ringgit and high cost of food is because of a, kononnya, weak Ismail Sabri.

Instead of helping to prop up the economy, Bank Negara is destroying good businesses, which are crucial to the country’s economic recovery. Malaysia Today had previously exposed the case of i-Serve — how a good eCommerce company was subjected to an AMLA freezing action since November 2021 until now. Bank Negara justified this by saying they are still investigating the case. Seven months later, and still investigating? Shouldn’t Bank Negara already know what they are looking for when they raided and froze all the company’s bank accounts and businesses. Why raid and freeze first and then investigate later? Ada yang tak kena ni.

This prolonged freezing of the company’s money is actually killing the company. Bank Negara’s action is suspect. The truth is, Bank Negara is determined to close down i-Serve because the company’s sister company has obtained DCA’s and MAVCOM’s approval to operate a new airline that will be a threat to AirAsia’s bailout plan. If the airline takes off, then AirAsia, which is seeking a bailout from government, will be affected. So, there is a hidden agenda as to why Bank Negara wants to prolong freezing i-Serve’s bank accounts and businesses.

Ismail Sabri must be made aware that Najib Razak and Umno were brought down in May 2018 because Bank Negara, the MACC, the AGC, Bukit Aman, and so on, were playing an important role in hurting the government. If Ismail Sabri allows all these ‘Little Napoleons’ to bermaharajalela, the people are going to curse him for their problems. In fact, that is already happening.

I have always said this from years ago. If the prime minister cannot control the government, then he is finished. Ismail Sabri needs to crack his whip and get wayward agencies like Bank Negara (and more) to toe the line. If they fook around, just pancung everyone. And this is what made Dr Mahathir a ‘good’ prime minister, and what caused Najib’s downfall. Najib allowed Bank Negara and mereka yang sewaktu dengannya to damage his reputation. So, Ismail Sabri, take note!