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Friday, February 17, 2017

Kit Siang volunteers to join forex scandal probe



DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has volunteered to serve on the planned investigation into Bank Negara Malaysia's foreign exchange market (forex) losses in the 1990s.
However, Lim said, he would only do so if the investigation also looks into the Bumiputera Malaysia Finance (BMF) and 1MDB scandals.
He said this in response to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman Said, who said Lim should be first to support the government's task force probing the forex scandal, since he was highly critical of it in Parliament in the 1990s.
"Let me reply directly to Azalina’s statement today: I am prepared to serve on a public probe into government scandals on BMF and Bank Negara forex losses.
"But the terms of reference must give priority to the 1MDB scandal, which has been haunting and hounding Malaysians in the past two years and appears set to do so in the years to come under the rubric of Malaysia as a 'global kleptocracy'.
"Is Azalina prepared to table, at next meeting of the cabinet next Wednesday, two proposals - firstly, the inclusion of 1MDB scandal in the terms of reference of the public probe; and secondly, appointing me as a member of the public probe?
"The ball is in the court of Azalina and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's cabinet," Lim said in a statement today.
Lim had previously slammed the cabinet for endorsing the task force to probe a matter that took place more than two decades ago but ignoring the current 1MDB scandal.
Bank Negara announced yesterday that it would extend full cooperation to the task force, but warned against distractions from efforts to ensure economic stability.
The belated investigation appears to target Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister when the scandal broke out.

Government leaders have accused Mahathir of giving Bank Negara, at that time, a free hand in the high-risk forex dealings that resulted in multi-billion ringgit in losses.
Mahathir has aligned with the opposition in a bid to oust Najib, whom he accused of corruption.
Najib has denied that the multi-billion ringgit deposits in his personal bank accounts were from 1MDB, claiming that they were a "donation" from a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family.
He also denied any wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gains.- Mkini

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