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Bank Negara lost more money under Najib compared to me, claims Dr M
Published:  Dec 10, 2017 11:00 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 10:21 AM

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) lost more money under Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak compared to when he led the country.

Mahathir claimed the loss under Najib totalled US$39.621 billion (RM161 billion) compared to his own era when BNM lost some RM31 billion by speculating in the forex market.

"They money (during my time) was lost due to Bank Negara's forex activities in its effort to manage the country's reserve and we know we loss RM30 billion from it.

"But more recently, in 2013 to 2015, Bank Negara lost much more than that. Actually, it lost US$39.6 billion which is equivalent to around RM160 billion.

"But for this, there was no investigation, no Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) and the answer that was given in Parliament was not satisfactory," Mahathir said in a video message uploaded on the Kelab Che Det Facebook page.

According to BNM's official webpage, its international reserve fell to US$95,289.62 billion in Dec 2015 from US$134,910.79 billion in Dec 2013.

The steep fall was largely attributed to BNM's attempt to defend the ringgit which depreciated dramatically during that period of time.

BNM's international reserve had since recovered to US$101,471.49 billion as of Oct 31 this year.

Mahathir dismissed arguments that the fall in international reserve was due to the hike in US interest rates which caused foreign investors to pull out their money from Malaysia.

Instead, he attributed it to the management of the international reserve.

In the video, Mahathir also reiterated that BNM's losses during his time were not due to theft.

He also lamented that the government was interested in matters that happened some 30 years ago but failed to act on more current developments, including the multi-billion ringgit deposits into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts.

Najib has denied wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gain.

Putrajaya had set up an RCI to investigate the forex losses during Mahathir's time and a report on the matter recommended the police initiate a criminal breach of trust probe.

Mahathir was prime minister from 1981 to 2003.