GEORGE TOWN – The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will only reinforce the belief that it was meant to tarnish Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s name, says DAP’s P Ramasamy.
He said most people knew that the RCI was a charade aimed at smearing Mahathir, as the PH chairman was gaining wide acceptance through his role as opposition leader.
Although Mahathir was not “guilt-free” from the scandals which occurred during his 22-year tenure as prime minister, the timing of the RCI was “too obvious”, he added.
“The RCI could have been held earlier. The intention of the RCI is clearly not genuine. It is a diversionary tactic from major issues such as the 1MDB issue.”
Ramasamy said many Pakatan Harapan (PH) supporters believed the RCI was only an exercise in “smoke and mirrors” to divert attention from the 1MDB issue.
“I am of the opinion that it will not affect PH support. It will only serve to reinforce the belief that (Prime Minister) Najib Razak is doing this to discredit Mahathir and PH.
“If he was sincere, Najib and ex-PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could have held the RCI earlier,” he said when contacted.
He also described the situation with a Tamil proverb, “Mullu pusinikkave sothual waithu muduruthu”, which refers to a person trying to hide a pumpkin with rice on a plate.
The RCI report, which was released in Parliament, concluded that Mahathir had helped in “deliberately concealing” the RM31.5 billion forex losses suffered by the central bank between 1992 and 1994.
The RCI, which convened for eight days from Aug 21, concluded on Sept 19 after calling 25 witnesses.
Forty-two documents were submitted during the proceedings.
Among the witnesses were Mahathir, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, former BNM governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former BNM adviser Nor Mohamed Yakcop and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin.
The 400-page report was submitted to the Agong on Oct 13.
The RCI recommended that the police open a case into a possible criminal breach of trust or cheating by various parties, including Mahathir, Anwar, the BNM board of directors, finance ministry officials, BNM officials, and officials from the auditor-general’s office.