“Not only are they aware that the RM31.5 billion forex scandal has eclipsed the RM42 billion ‘controversy’, they’re worried that voters will go to polling booths convinced that Mahathir is the real criminal, not Najib. In one sense, I really can’t blame them. I mean, which catchphrase would you rather hum as you make your way towards the voting booth? Are you going to hum about the “RM42 billion that Najib allegedly dissipated into thin air,” or will you hum the one about “RM31.5 billion in foreign reserves being gambled away through the forex market?”
THE THIRD FORCE
Recently, there have been a spate of theories floating around the internet that appear to give exact reasons why Dr Mahathir Mohamad is displeased with the outcome of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Nineties Forex Scandal (NFS). These theories, many of which are of tedium, range from him being dissatisfied with the RCI report to how bitter he is that the spotlight is no longer on the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Now, at this point, you’re probably accustomed to me telling you that it’s a little of this and a little of that. But that’s not what I’m here to say. Today, I’m going to highlight a reason that seems to have been ignored by many, one that may be the mother of them all. And I’m referring to the fact that the RCI more or less confirmed that RM31.5 billion was gambled away by Bank Negara through speculative trade in the forex market.
What about the RM31.5 billion?
In 2015, Mahathir undertook in an agreement with George Soros to cripple the administration of Najib Razak. The duo planned to accuse Najib of defrauding Malaysian taxpayers by making viral two sets of financial figures purportedly misappropriated by the Prime Minister in collusion with officials from the wealth fund.
The first set, which totalled RM42 billion, was assigned to Mahathir himself, who undertook with his accomplices to implicate Najib of criminal misfeasance in public office. The second set was delegated to Clare Rewcastle Brown, whose job was to trump up charges of conspiracy involving government linked companies and charitable organizations to funnel RM2.6 billion into the Prime Minister’s personal account.
Now, what do you get when you have a firebrand journalist who not only is white, but purports to walk in truth and champion justice? Well, here in Malaysia, you actually get nincompoops worshipping anything and everything that journalist says. And this is not make belief. There are just that many people in this country who’d rather spend hours upon hours entertaining a white milkman from the United Kingdom (UK) than they would a dark-skinned nuclear scientist from Seremban.
These qualities along with her white skin tone won half the battle. The other half was won through the ink of guile and persuasion that she penned her articles with. When members of the opposition began holding up placards reading RM2.6 billion at every other juncture, they helped print that ink onto the conscience of sceptics, meaning, you now had a bulk of Malaysians believing that the Prime Minister stole RM2.6 billion from 1MDB.
And once you have people believing that, there is no reason for them not to believe that he dissipated more billions into thin air. And that is how RM42 billion tagline became “a thing.” Today, however, it is no longer “a thing” – people have begun to open their eyes and realise how Pakatan Harapan has been taking them for rides. What they’re more concerned with is the reason Mahathir allowed Bank Negara to gamble away RM31.5 billion through the forex market.
And in today’s currency, that’s worth a staggering RM157.5 billion!
Is that the only thing worrying Mahathir?
When the RCI was first announced by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), its stated mission was to “verify allegations that Bank Negara suffered massive losses resulting from foreign transactions in the 1990s and the implications (those losses had) to the economy.” Its mission was also to “investigate if Bank Negara’s involvement in the forex activities had contravened the Central Bank Ordinance of 1958 and whether there were any attempts to conceal or withhold information regarding those losses with the intention to mislead the Cabinet, Parliament and the people at the time.”
And therein the irony.
You see, a little over twenty-three years ago, Lim Kit Siang stood up in Parliament and declared that 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. On the 11th of April 1994, he became the first Member of Parliament (MP) to ever read out a near exact estimate of the actual losses that Bank Negara suffered.
But that’s not all.
He also made known a conspiracy to conceal information from parliament and the people of Malaysia before repeating a call he made a year earlier for an RCI into the NFS. As he did that, he rubbed in the idea that the scandal, which he insisted “was extraordinary by any international accounting standards, 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.
Now, tell me, has the RCI not confirmed that Bank Negara lost RM31.5 billion, a figure that’s just RM1.5 billion short of Kit Siang’s estimate? Is it not true that the RCI established “a conspiracy of disinformation and misinformation to ‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude” of losses suffered by the central bank? More importantly, was it not the senior Lim who insisted that an RCI be called, and was it not he who accused Mahathir of meddling with Bank Negara’s affairs?
But then, keeping quiet has not helped him that much either. Day by day, more and more of his supporters in Pakatan Harapan are blaming him for not coming out in Mahathir’s defence. According to them, had he not spent the last forty or so years demanding RCIs for this and that, the government would have thought twice before conducting this one. And I’m not kidding – these guys are actually pointing their fingers at him and no-one else.
And get this – they’re saying that the “code of silence” he burdened Pakatan with has denied many top leaders the opportunity to hammer Najib with claims of political persecution. Now, read between the lines, and tell me, aren’t these die-hard supporters just a bunch of rogues like their leaders are? Can you not see how they’re more concerned with demonising Najib than they are with setting records straight and serving justice?
Not only are they aware that the RM31.5 billion forex scandal has eclipsed the RM42 billion ‘controversy’, they’re worried that voters will go to polling booths convinced that Mahathir is the real criminal, not Najib. In one sense, I really can’t blame them. I mean, which catchphrase would you rather hum as you make your way towards the voting booth? Are you going to hum about the “RM42 billion that Najib allegedly dissipated into thin air,” or will you hum the one about “RM31.5 billion in foreign reserves being gambled away through the forex market?”
See what’s bothering Mahathir?
To be continued…