Thursday, September 14, 2017

Forex and Memali - common denominator?

FMT - Anwar can’t wash hands of forex scandal:

Hoo Ke Ping and Anwar Ibrahim 

Economist Hoo Ke Ping has criticised jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for apparently refusing to take responsibility for losses incurred in foreign exchange trading by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in the 1990s, when he was finance minister.

Hoo made his criticism in the wake of Anwar’s appearance before the royal commission that is inquiring into the scandal. Anwar said in his testimony last week that he merely presented to the cabinet the facts given in the central bank’s annual financial statement. This was in 1993.

Speaking to FMT, Hoo noted that Anwar indicated he knew about the forex trading but was not involved in it.

“But he was the finance minister and the deputy prime minister at the time,” he said. “The BNM Act states clearly that the bank is accountable to the finance minister.

“As finance minister overlooking BNM, he had the power to look further into the report he received. He cannot just accept the report at face value and shut up.”

Anwar was grilled by the royal commission for about half an hour last Thursday. The tribunal’s chairman, Mohd Sidek Hassan, accused him of failing to reveal that BNM was suffering losses from its forex trading.

Another member of the commission, Saw Choo Boon, said the annual report Anwar presented to the the cabinet didn’t show losses, although BNM had lost RM12 billion in 1992 and RM15 billion in 1993.

Anwar said his report to the cabinet was based on the bank’s audited report and that he was “duty bound” to go by the books although he knew of the actual losses.

Hoo said Anwar, in failing to investigate the losses, had neglected his fiduciary duty. He added that it was a serious neglect because it came at a time when Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) was only RM100 billion.

“Today, our GDP is RM1,200 billion. There’s a world of difference between losing RM30 billion today and losing RM30 billion then.”

Hoo said there might also have been a breach of BNM rules and added that it was imperative for the royal commission to recommend police investigations.

“All those involved in the scandal, either directly or by failing in their fiduciary duty, should be investigated,” he said.

Anwar might have been the 'fall guy' for someone, which could be why he couldn't release more details or explain the Forex humongous loss.

As the Forex gambling was very hush-hush to the extent that even the late governor of Bank Negara, Tan Sri Jaafar Hussein, was caught completely clueless, Anwar might also be quite unaware of what really was involved, or was told a la 'jangan campur tangan, arahan dari atas'.

A 'patsy' twice over. I feel sorry for Anwar, but as Ho Ke Ping said, he as Finance Minister was responsible, just like Musa Hitam was made responsible for someone's Memali.

He was in KL when it happened

I wasn't as I was in good old China 


  1. anwar n musa cannot talk meh, y u spoke for them? u know more than them kah?

  2. "Mohd Sidek Hassan, accused him of failing to reveal that BNM was suffering losses from its forex trading."

    It sounds to me this Forex tribunal’s chairman, Mohd Sidek Hassan is acting more like an Inquisitor / Prosecutor rather than an impartial adjudicator to facilitate the airing of the true facts of the case.

    More than likely this RCI is a dog-and-pony-show with an already pre-defined conclusion.

    One of the best RCI Chairmans I saw in action was Retired Justice Chang Min Tat who chaired the inquiry into the Penang Ferry terminal collapse back in 1987 - the RCI was in 1988. His questioning was tough and detailed, but meant to extract the facts , not trying to prove some pre-judged conclusion or another.

    The 2004 RCI into the conduct of the PDRM - a very good one, the 1999 RCI into the Anwar Black-Eye incident, and the 2007 RCI into the VK Lingam scandal were all creditably conducted.

    The conduct of this particular Forex RCI is going the damage both its own credibility and that of the future RCI process itself. Already heavily tainted by the weak and useless RCI into Teoh Beng Hock's case.

    As usual, Najib warps and mutates everything he touches. This is your Najib's legacy....

  3. Simple. RCI ask Anwar why he did not investigate or question the forex trading which he was aware of and see what the answer is.