PUTRAJAYA — September 7, 2017: Former finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today told a Royal Commission of Inquiry that former Bank Negara adviser Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop had exceeded his mandate and also didn’t give a true report on forex losses.
Anwar said this in reference to Nor Mohamed’s report on the losses in the early 1990s to him and former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
He testified to the inquiry probing the losses that then then central bank governor, Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, had gone to see him and explained why he (Jaffar) agreed that Nor Mohamed should resign.
“I said that if he (Nor Mohamed) did not resign, I want him fired,” Anwar said in reply to conducting officer Julia Ibrahim.
Nor Mohamed resigned as the bank’s adviser in April 1994.
Yesterday, Nor Mohamed in his written statement said that all forex trading transactions were carried out by the chief dealer and dealers and that what they did were on his instruction.
Anwar also told the RCI that he and Mahathir knew about the losses but the latter did not give any instruction regarding on the matter.
According to Anwar, he and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Clifford Francis Herbert had met with Mahathir to discuss the losses but the latter just listened without giving any instruction.
Anwar said he learned about the losses from Jaffar when he asked him (Jaffar) about the forex trading activities before the Annual Financial Report 1992 was tabled in March 1993.
“All Bank Negara Annual Financial Reports were tabled but were not viewed seriously as everyone knew about the Plaza Accord and that the public perception was blaming it on the global situation and George Soros,” he said.
When asked repeatedly by RCI chairman Tan Sri Mohd. Sidek Hassan on whether he (Anwar) hid the actual amount of losses from the Cabinet, Anwar denied the allegation.
The situation became tense as Sidek continued asking the same question to Anwar, while at the same time both offered their answers.
Sidek: “On April 6, 1994, the amount of losses reported to the Cabinet was only RM5.7 billion and not the actual amount of RM15.291 billion recorded in 1992.”
Anwar: “The letter from the auditor-general was subject to negotiation with the BNM. I only brought to the Cabinet the results of the negotiation. The record said RM5.7 billion, so we stressed on RM5.7 billion.”
Unlike other witnesses who gave their statements before being questioned, Anwar gave his statement in a question-and-answer session.
Mahathir also attended the proceedings today. The inquiry continues on Monday. — Bernama