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KJ: Gov't considering whether to reopen case into Bank Negara losses

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The government is considering the possibility of re-opening investigation into the alleged loss of RM44 billion incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) through foreign exchange trading from 1991 to 1993.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the possibility was raised at the cabinet meeting today, besides the need to obtain confirmation on whether there was a cover-up of the scandal by certain individuals.

The cabinet, he said, took note of the loss of national funds through foreign exchange (forex) trading as acknowledged by BNM and its governor at the time but what needed to be revealed was the possibility of a bigger loss than what was reported.

"The question now is whether the loss was as reported or bigger than that stated by former BNM assistant governor, Abdul Murad Khalid, recently.

"What should be thought about is whether we need to look at the case again and to ascertain whether there was a cover-up or attempts to close the case.

"And if there was a cover-up, who were involved and who ordered it? These are important questions which need answers now," he told reporters in Putrajaya today.

Khairy was asked whether the cabinet meeting today discussed the calls made by certain quarters for the government to set up a royal commission of inquiry to investigate the loss of US$10 billion incurred by BNM through forex trading from 1991 until 1993 during the premiership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Recently, Abdul Murad came forward to expose that the central bank had from 1991 until 1993 involved in high-risk speculative forex trading, resulting in a loss that was bigger than the amount reported.

Khairy said the matter had to be addressed as the scandal had caused one of the biggest losses in the history of the country's central bank.

However, he added, the matter would be studied thoroughly as it involved an incident or scandal that happened over 20 years ago, while certain individuals concerned and were holding certain positions including Jaffar Hussein, who was the BNM governor at the time, had died.

"So, the cabinet will discuss the matter again next week and think of the best way to get a clearer picture on whether there was a cover-up of the scandal," he said.

Earlier, Khairy handed over the Jalur Gemilang to the Malaysian contingent who will be competing in the Asian Winter Games 2017 in Sapporo, Japan from Feb 19 to 26.

- Bernama

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