A PRO-PAKATAN Harapan blogger has lodged a police report urging authorities to investigate Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) alleged RM160 billion loss in international reserves.
Mohd Hanizam Yunus, who blogs under the pseudonym Blue Ocean, said more police reports would be lodged nationwide by other pro-PH bloggers later today, as part of efforts to put pressure on the current administration.
“We want police to investigate this so that we know what happened to the RM160 billion that Bank Negara lost a couple of years ago.
“The amount is seven times more than the forex losses 30 years ago,” he said after lodging the report at Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Hanizam was referring to the BNM’s foreign exachange trading losses which occurred during the early 1990s, when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister.
Dr Mahathir had highlighted the central bank’s international reserves losses between 2013 and 2015 due to the ringgit’s fall to counter criticisms over his handling of the forex losses.
He accused Putrajaya of “discrimination” because it initiated a royal commission of inquiry on the forex losses, which implicated him, among other figures at the time.
The former prime minister, who also chairs PH component party Bersatu, questioned why Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration was more concerned about the forex losses of RM31.5 billion some 30 years ago, when the amount of international reserves lost in the three-year period recently was larger at US$39.6 billion or RM160 billion.
Dr Mahathir also noted the money lost through forex trading was not “stolen”.
In its annual report, BNM recorded its international reserves at RM441.9 billion (US$134.91 billion) for 2013. By 2015, the reserves had dropped to RM409.1 billion (US$95.3 billion).
Last year, the central bank reported the figure at RM423.9 billion (US$94.5 billion).
In 2013, the exchange rate was RM3.27 per US dollar. It fell to RM4.44 last November, its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis.
The ringgit has since rallied to close at RM4.09 on Friday.
BNM’s forex trading losses were the subject of a RCI, which has recommended that Dr Mahathir, former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim and former BNM adviser Nor Mohamed Yakcop be investigated for criminal breach of trust.