KOTA BARU – An Umno leader today has urged Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to come clean on the losses in the billions of ringgit incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia in foreign exchange (forex) market in the 1990s.
This comes after former BNM assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid told a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Monday that he had briefed Anwar, who was then finance minister, in early 1994 about the matter.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the PKR de facto leader should also reveal the truth on Murad’s claim that Anwar had said that he would have to resign from his ministerial post if the real losses were made public.
“I believe he (Anwar) is pretending that he did not know about the scandal. To me, he should not let the issue and revelation (by Murad) become a public discussion.
“The people need to know what had actually happened as it involved their money and Anwar should not hide from the truth. The same also goes to (former prime minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.
Puad, who is JASA director-general, said this to reporters after opening the Negaraku programme at SMK Pengkalan Chepa here today.
He said both Anwar and Dr Mahathir were “quiet” when it comes to issues involving them but not so over issues surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and actions taken by the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ).
“For example, Dr Mahathir tried to hide his mistakes during the Nothing To Hide forum by putting the blame on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak instead.
“However, when it involved this scandal (forex losses), both seem to be trying to hide something,” he said.
Details revealed in the on going RCI on Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses since Monday has made heads turn.
Yesterday, Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was reported as saying that he found the claims made so far in the inquiry to be shocking.
He was referring to Murad’s testimony in the inquiry on the RM31.5 billion losses and how it was kept under wraps all these years.
Sharkar said the RCI has put matters on the right track as the issue needs to be dealt with in a transparent manner.
The first day of the RCI on Bank Negara Malaysia’s forex losses revealed that a massive RM31.5 billion lost between 1991 and 1994 was hidden from the central bank.
In revealing this information, the commission’s chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said there was a need to find out who had asked for it to be concealed.