Tunku Aziz: Thorough probe will bring closure
KUALA LUMPUR: A thorough investigation will bring proper closure to claims of the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) foreign exchange losses in the 1990s, former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said.
He said the setting up of a task force to investigate the scandal was timely as the rakyat deserved to know past financial scandals during former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure.
“The task force is a good thing that will set the ball rolling, a prelude to a Royal Commission of Inquiry if it becomes necessary.
“It is important that this matter be thoroughly investigated and brought to a proper closure so that the people can establish what really took place and whether the law had been broken.
He said the composition of the task force was appropriate, comprising people with the right skills and expertise.
He suggested that the task force question former BNM governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as she was the branch manager for BNM in London in the 1990s.
Tunku Aziz said he was invited to a dinner by BNM branch officers in New York in the late 1980s and felt it was unusual for a central bank to have overseas branches. He had asked the officers what BNM was doing.
“They told me that BNM was taking positions in forex, and I thought that it was wrong for a central bank to do so as it is gambling,” he said.
Led by former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the task force comprised Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki; Police Commercial Crimes Department director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani; Securities Commission Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh; Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) chief executive officer Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad; Pemudah co-chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon; and lawyer Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos.
Finance Ministry’s Strategic Investment Division director Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail is the task force secretary and secretariat head.