ANWAR FIRES BACK AT ‘OLD FRIEND’ MURAD: ‘HE TRIED TO INSINUATE I WANTED FOREX LOSSES TO BE COVERED UP’

Anwar Ibrahim refuted the “malicious insinuation” that he wanted the Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) losses swept under the carpet.

He was responding to former Bank Negara assistant governor Abdul Khalid Murad who claimed that Anwar had mentioned to him that he would need to resign as finance minister if the actual losses were made public.

On Monday, Murad told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) hearing on the forex losses that he briefed Anwar, who was also deputy prime minister at the time, on the matter onboard a flight to Hawaii in 1994.

Murad, who was an advisor with Bank Negara during that period, said he was acting on the instruction of then Bank Negara governor, the late Jaffar Hussein.

“His malicious insinuation is clear – that I had implied a cover-up was needed,” said Anwar in a media statement this afternoon.

“That allegation is false. I never said that to him.

“I should stress there was no need for me to say such a thing to a functionary like Murad who was sent by Bank Negara governor Jaffar Hussein to brief me on technical aspects of the accounting done by Bank Negara and the contents of their annual report.

“I must stress at all other times I dealt directly with Jaffar,” he added.

Anwar, who is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for a sodomy conviction, pointed out that he had been dealing with the forex losses issue since April 1993.

The former finance minister said he had replied in parliament based on figures and information in Bank Negara’s published 1992 report and their briefings to him.

“I did the same again in parliament in April 1994 based on Bank Negara’s 1993 report and their updates to me,” he added.

Anwar also accused Murad of being hostile towards him since 1999 when he published a statutory declaration, which the ex-opposition leader claimed contained false and scurrilous allegations against him.

“This declaration was investigated by the then Anti-Corruption Agency and found to be completely baseless.

“A High Court judge affirmed these findings and said ‘the declaration had been discredited’ when he ruled in my favour in my libel suit against the New Straits Times which wrote an article referring to the declaration.

“I will reiterate these statements to the commission when they call me as a witness to assist their enquiry. I say ‘when I am called’ because I would consider it quite unjust if other witnesses are allowed to make prejudicial allegations against me in front of the commission and I am not allowed to make my response to them in the same manner,” he added.

– M’kini

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