Dr M, point your finger at yourself, not Najib

TTF: Below is an excerpt from an editorial published by The Malaysian Insight (Insight), a fake news portal run by the brother in-law of Malaysia’s current Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali (who, in all earnest, should immediately resign from the post).

Based on the editorial, Dr Mahathir Mohamad seems extremely upset that an RCI was called to probe the Nineties Forex Scandal (NFC). The former premier went to great lengths to highlight that Bank Negara suffered more losses under the current administration of  Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

In light of this, I have taken the liberty to address some misconceptions that arose the minute Insight chose to publish the former premier’s claims.

1. The RCI into the NFC was not called to punish Mahathir, but to prove that the current administration makes well founded claims based on facts and not hearsay and/or speculation like Mahathir does.

2. For the past three years, the former premier has been insisting that Najib looted 1MDB by stashing RM42 billion of the fund’s money in some vault only god knows where. But not only has the Mahathir yet to offer evidence to substantiate his claims, he has not even lodged a police report on the matter.

3. The RCI, on the other hand, managed to establish that Bank Negara lost RM31.5 billion between the years 1992 and 1994 owing to speculation on foreign currencies at reckless rates and at the cost of the bank’s precious reserves.

4. The RCI also established that an element of conspiracy existed to conceal these losses from Parliament and the people of Malaysia.

5. More importantly, the RCI proved without a doubt that when the Najib administration makes a claim, it does so based on legitimate findings and not hearsay and/or speculation.

6. It should be noted, that Mahathir’s act of accusing the Government of Malaysia (GoM) of dissipating and laundering 1MDB funds served to frighten investors and hurt stock prices.

7. As a matter of fact, the former premier’s act of colluding with Sarawak Report’s and The Edge Media Group’s Chief Editors as well as the brother in-law of the country’s Attorney-General to publish fake news had similar effects on investors and stock prices.

8. Towards the end of 2015, he even set aside a budget of RM2 billion – a large portion of which was shelled out in world media coverage –  to cast the Government of Malaysia in bad light.

9. All of these acts weakened the Malaysian Ringgit much more than the Asian Financial crisis or other market forces could have afforded to.

10. So if anyone deserves blame for any untoward losses Bank Negara may have suffered under the current administration, that person is Dr Mahathir Mohamed and not Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Note: Refer also to Lim Sian See’s take on this matter HERE.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lumpur: DR Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia has lost far more money from the ringgit’s fall in value than the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) almost 30 years ago.

The country’s longest-serving prime minister and now opposition leader said BNM’s reserves dipped US$39.6 billion from 2013 to 2015 under the stewardship of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“Bank Negara reported the losses at US$39.6 billion, which is RM160 billion. That is far greater than the forex losses, which they (Putrajaya) have been trying to pin on me,” the Pakatan Harapan chief told an audience of about 600 people at a fund-raiser at the Bangi Golf Resort yesterday.

In its annual report, BNM recorded its international reserve at RM441.9 billion (US$134.91 billion) for 2013. By 2015, the reserves had dropped to RM409.1 billion (US$95.3 billion). Last year, the central bank reported the figure at RM423.9 billion (US$94.5 billion).

In 2013, the exchange rate was RM3.27 per US dollar. It fell to RM4.44 last November, its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis. The ringgit has since rallied to close at RM4.09 yesterday.

Adapted from: The Malaysian Insight

Note: The article was edited at 10.08 am on 11/12/2017 to correct a conceptual error that occurred.

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