Forex RCI: Lim’s prawn vs Kit Siang’s shrimp

“But was it not he who told parliament in 1994 that “a conspiracy of disinformation and misinformation to ‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude” of losses existed? The last I checked, the word ‘corruption’ refers also to acts of perversion that are dishonest and/or immoral. Does that not make the act of conspiring to “‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude” of losses corrupt?”

THE THIRD FORCE

On the 11th of April 1994, a very perturbed Lim Kit Siang ripped the late Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein apart in parliament when addressing what has since come to be known as the Nineties Forex Scandal (NFS). According to the (then) DAP Secretary General, there existed “a conspiracy of disinformation and misinformation to ‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude” of the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara between the years 1992 and 1994.

“The “colossal forex losses in the last two years have knocked out a big hole in Bank Negara, not only making it insolvent, but destroying its credibility and authority as the ‘banker’ and guardian of banks in Malaysia,” he said.

The senior Lim went on to add that the late Jaffar Hussein – who was then Bank Negara governor – lied when he denied the existence of such a ‘hole’ and put it down to “paper losses.” In rubbishing that claim, he stressed that the central bank had not lost a mere RM5.7 billion on paper as Jaffar had claimed, but a whopping RM30 billion or so through speculative trading (of the British pound) in the forex market.

Do you know what this means?

It means that twenty-three years ago, Lim Kit Siang became the first Member of Parliament (MP) to read out a near exact estimate of the actual losses Bank Negara suffered. And twenty-three years ago, he made known a conspiracy to conceal information from parliament which a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the forex scandal only recently established. Up until the day the RCI wrapped things up, no other MP came even remotely close to estimating the extent of losses Kit Siang floated in parliament that day.

So tell me, should that not make the senior Lim a very happy man?

After all, it was he who told the Dewan Rakyat in 1994 that the losses Bank Negara suffered were “extraordinary” by “any international accounting standards,” adding that the scandal, which he claimed was of “world class” proportions, was “the biggest” Malaysia had ever seen.

Not only that, he repeated a call he made a year earlier for an RCI to be called into the NFS, telling the lower house of Parliament that the scandal had “humiliated” government officials and “harmed our reputation” within “international monetary circles.” In other words, the senior Lim admitted that the NFS had turned Malaysia into a laughing stock within the global community.

So why is he now lying?

Last Thursday (the 30th of November 2017), he made a spectacular U-Turn in his blog posting that immediately brought into question his 1994 speech to Parliament. According to him, the nineties forex scandal did not cause Malaysia international infamy (very bad reputation) and ignominy (humiliation),meaning, the NFS, though significant in terms of losses suffered, was not of a proportion that shamed the country within international monetary circles.

Duh??

Was it not he who told the Dewan Rakyat the exact opposite twenty-three years ago? Did he not claim that the losses Bank Negara suffered had “humiliated” government officials and “harmed our reputation” within “international monetary circles?” Did he actually think that by using words such as “infamy” and “ignominy,” I would not spot the contradiction?

But that’s not all.

In his latest posting, he alleged that the RCI “had not found any element of corruption,” meaning, the RCI has yet to establish dishonesty and/or immorality on anyone’s part. But in 1994, he told parliament that “a conspiracy of disinformation and misinformation to ‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude” of losses existed. Tell me, does that not qualify as a dishonest and/or immoral act?

Who are you kidding, Kit Siang?

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