Cabinet approves RCI on Bank Negara forex losses

PETALING JAYA: The cabinet has agreed to the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the losses suffered by Bank Negara due to foreign exchange (forex) trading in the 1990s.

In a statement today, the Prime Minister’s Office said the decision was made following a report by the special task force set up earlier this year to investigate the losses.

It said the task force had determined that there was sufficient evidence to justify further investigation into the matter.

The formation of the RCI will allow a detailed and comprehensive investigation within the law and with immunity under Act 119.

It said the formation of the RCI was also to protect public interests by determining the extent to which the losses had affected national reserves.

This is because preliminary investigations found the actual losses were greater than what was previously presented to former ministers and Parliament, it said.

It said the task force had also found that facts of the case were hidden through the presentation of misleading facts with the aim of confusing ministers and lawmakers.

The cabinet unanimously agrees with the task force’s recommendation that an RCI be formed to enable the investigation to continue.

The task force, which was set up on Feb 15, was chaired by former chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan.

It was established to probe the forex losses of US$10 billion (about RM44 billion) incurred by the central bank between 1991 and 1993.

Source: Malaysian Trades Union Congress