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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Anwar brought before forex scandal task force



Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was today brought before the special task force to investigate Bank Negara Malaysia's foreign exchange losses in the 1990s.
His daugher Nurul Izzah said the family was informed of this by prison officials, and later received confirmation that he was taken to the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya.
Following this, the family went to the ministry but was unable to obtain further details.
"We were not given the clearance to see him and even lawyer R Sivarasa was not allowed to represent my father during the said hearing," Nurul Izzah told Malaysiakini.
Anwar was finance minister between 1991 and 1998. He was also deputy prime minister between 1993 and 1998.
Nurul Izzah reiterated her father's stand that a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) be set up to investigate the forex scandal.
"And certainly not just focusing on the previous scandal, but the ongoing (1MDB) scandal which the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has found to have cost us at least RM39 billion in losses.
"An RCI would be accessible to the public and would be more transparent and open. We can certainly learn as a nation as to ways to ensure such scandalsdo not recur in the future," she added.
The PKR vice-president stressed that it is important to understand the task force's powers as well as the possible outcomes from the investigation..
"It's important to understand that we don't want any sort of cherry picking that takes place because scandals that affect the country should be unearthed and addressed holistically – whether (it is) the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), Perwaja (Steel), forex losses or 1MDB," she added.
The task force is led by former chief secretary to the government Sidek Hassan. It comprises representatives from various government agencies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), police and Securities Commission.
The terms of reference for the task force is to investigate the losses from currency speculation engaged by Bank Negara at the material time.
The task force will also investigate if there were attempts to cover up the losses and mislead Parliament, and recommend further action to be taken, if needed.

Sidek had confirmed that the task force will ascertain if Bank Negara had followed the laws and regulations in its conduct of those transactions, and look into organisations and individuals linked to the management of the transactions and if any untoward activities took place.
The Bank Negara forex scandal took place when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, The central bank had allegedly incurred a colossal loss due to speculating on foreign currencies.
Critics have described the establishment of the task force as a political move on the part of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to pressure Mahathir, who has been calling for his ouster.- Mkini

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