PUTRAJAYA – Former auditor-general Tan Sri Ishak Tadin is unable to testify in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign exchange trading losses due to memory loss, his son said today.

Rizal Ishak informed the panel that his father’s memory and thinking skills have been impaired and would not be able to remember key events relevant to the inquiry.

“My father started having cognitive impairment sometime in 2007. As a result, he is unable to recall memories.

“In fact, in his head he is still 70 years old, when he is already 85,” Rezal told the RCI at the Palace of Justice here.

Ishak was auditor-general between 1991 and 1994, when the central bank was said to have suffered massive cash bleeds from trading in currency.

He was supposed to be the 25th and last witness called to testify in the inquiry into the central bank’s currency trade losses said to total RM31.5 billion within the early 1990s.

Rezal said his father has vague memories of the events.

“But when it comes to details of the work, as part of the therapy, I talk about his work so he can relate and get energised.

“Unfortunately at this stage, he just has a lot of difficulties to recollect, so I thought it’s best that in the interest of the panel, to reconsider other options,” Rezal said.

RCI’s conducting officer Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim asked Rezal to produce medical reports to verify his father’s condition to the panel, to which the latter agreed.

Today’s hearing concludes the RCI into the currency trading losses after nine days. A total of 24 witnesses testified and 42 documents were submitted.

The RCI panel is chaired by former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan who is now Petronas chairman. The other members are High Court Judge Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, Tajuddin, Special Task Force to Facilitate Business co-chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon and Malaysian Institute of Accountants member K. Puspanathan.

– Malay Mail