KUALA LUMPUR – April 28, 2017: A couple of political bloggers are perplexed by former finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim of ignorance in certain matters related to the country’s foreign exchange scandal in the early 1990’s.
Anwar, who is the PKR de factor leader, last week told a task force probing the scandal that he was kept in the dark about the forex loss of up to RM30 billion until it was reported by foreign press.
In a lengthy blog post, A Voice of Another Brick In The Wall, indirectly accused Anwar of lying.
“How can he say he was unaware of the matter when he was then the finance minister and had access to people from the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” he said when contacted today.
The anonymous blogger, who is a former banker and forex dealer, claimed that Bank Negara’s forex trading had been going on since the late 1980s, adding that it was initially done through several local banks.
“Particularly through Bank Bumi (Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad) and Maybank but the local banks cannot continue to do it because they had exceeded their forex credit exposure.
“Back then, the trading was still relatively small. It only became aggressive in 1991 onward. Coincidentally that was also the year when Anwar was appointed as Finance Minister,” he said.
Another blogger, Lim Sian See, pointed out that another baffling revelation was when Anwar claimed that then-Bank Negara assistant governor Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop submitted an inaccurate report to his superiors.
Nor Mohamed, who was in charge of forex trading, resigned from his post following the loss but was appointed second finance minister in 2008.
“Anwar wants Malaysians to believe that a department head (Nor Mohamed) can ignore orders from BNM governor, the finance minister and prime minister.
“He also wants us to believe that no one else was aware of his (Nor Mohamed’s) actions over that period (the duration of the foreign exchange investment).
“So at the end of the day, Anwar believed that he is not responsible for anything since it (the forex losses) is the department head’s problem,” was Lim’s sarcastic response.