“I don’t remember about the profits and losses in the forex transactions from the year 1986 until 1993” – Nor Mohamed Yakcop
PUTRAJAYA: Former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) adviser Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and former BNM governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz took the witness stand on the fifth day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the central bank’s foreign exchange losses in the early 1990s.
Nor Mohamed, 70, in black suit, said that he did not at any time between 1986 and 1993 discuss with the finance minister and the Prime Minister about the Bank Negara foreign exchange transactions.
“I don’t remember about the profits and losses in the forex transactions from the year 1986 until 1993,” he said.
Earlier, Zeti, 70, in blue baju kurung, began her statement by saying that her first direct involvement in the bank’s reserve management was during her assignment at the London office, where US$200 million was allocated for the central bank’s investments.
She said initially the London office did not undertake any foreign exchange transactions and later the London office was allowed to make investment in instruments denominated in other currencies which required foreign exchange transactions to be undertaken.
“The foreign exchange transactions were to support the investment activities and not to take positions on any currencies. After two or three years, the amount allocated to the London and New York offices was increased from USD200 million to USD500 million,” she said.
“It remains at that level until today. The role of both the London and New York offices remains the same until the present. Both the London and New York offices do not participate in the reserve management activities by the head office. This arrangement continues till today,” Zeti said.
Earlier, former Attorney-General Ainum Mohd Saaid, 71, told the RCI that the Atorney-General’s Chambers did not fully accept the way the BNM interpret the law regarding foreign currency transactions.
She said the Attorney-General’s Office received a letter dated Fenruary 9, 1990 from BNM for her attention (she was then Head of the Advisory Division) entitled “Foreign Exchange Transactions By Bank Negara.
Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan who is Petronas chairman, chaired the five-man panel.
The other members of the commission are High Court judge Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said, Chief Executive Officer Bursa Malaysia Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Co-Chairman Special Task Force to facilitate Business (Pemudah) Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon and Malaysian Institute of Accountants member K. Puspanathan.
On July 15 this year, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong approved the formation of the Commission to inquire into losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia due to foreign exchange dealings in the 1990’s based on the Commission of Enquiry Act.