FORMER Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Abdul Murad Khalid should be blamed for hiding the truth about the bank’s forex losses as much as the prime minister and deputy prime minister then, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Murad had known about the losses but kept quiet about them, and only recently revealed his knowledge for the ruling Barisan Nasional to use against its political opponents, Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister at the time of the forex scandal nearly 30 years ago, said in a blog post.
“He could have exposed it much earlier, as well as the officers and auditors involved. But he did not.
“If the then prime minister and the then deputy prime minister are accused of hiding losses of up to RM30 billion, Murad was even more involved in hiding the truth. But, he is not accused of wrongdoing because it was so long ago.
Referring to the royal commission of inquiry into the forex losses, the Pakatan Harapan chairman accused Najib of using his power to launch a process that would ultimately lead to placing blame on him (Dr Mahathir) and then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
The RCI began in August after Murad, in an interview with the New Straits Times in June, revealed that the central bank’s losses amounted to at least US$10 billion then (RM25 billion).
During the RCI, Murad, who took over as manager of BNM’s Banking Department in April 1992, had said he learned of the losses only in May that year.
He told the panel that the losses were not captured in the bank’s profit and loss statements and made public because “it’s political. You want to show the losses?”.
In early 1994, when Murad was made BNM adviser, he had told Anwar, the then finance minister, of the losses.
Anwar is now PKR’s de facto leader and in jail for a sodomy charge.
Previously, Dr Mahathir had said the losses were much lower, about RM10 billion.
In a blog post today, he reiterated that the RCI report was not based on facts but conjecture, so as to pin the blame on him and Anwar.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT