Referring to the foreign exchange scandal that erupted in the 90s, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that he instructed Bank Negara to stop speculating in the currency market.
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara got involved in foreign exchange speculation under the direction of the finance minister before me, with the blessings of the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said this at Parliament today.
Anwar served as finance minister from 1991 to 1998. His immediate predecessor was Umno veteran, Daim Zainuddin.
Earlier, Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim told the Dewan that Malaysia lost RM5.7 billion when Bank Negara was said to be involved in the forex scandal.
When Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng asked whether action was taken against officers involved in the matter, the deputy minister told the Penang chief minister to refer the matter to Anwar as he was serving as the finance minister then.
The hall soon erupted and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin pointed out that on April 27, 1993, DAP MP Lim Kit Siang had said that Anwar must take responsibility for the billions lost.
Anwar stood up to defend himself, saying it was he who instructed Bank Negara to stop speculating on the currency market in 1993.
He also said Kit Siang was right to ask the question at that time and said that he had admitted to the DAP veteran that Bank Negara made some losses in the scandal.
“Then Bank Negara governor, Jaafar Hussein resigned despite not being directly involved in the matter, together with Nor Mohamed Yakcop who was then in charge of the Forex Trading Unit.
“But when I was jailed in 1998, Nor Mohamed was promoted to become a minister,” said Anwar.