Cabinet nod for RCI on BNM forex losses

The Cabinet has unanimously agreed with the recommendation of the Special Task Force that there is a need to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the losses of foreign-currency transactions by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in the 1980s and 1990s.

In a statement yesterday, thePrime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the task force, set up to investigate the losses, had also found that there had been attempts to conceal actual facts on the losses — with confusing information given to the Cabinet and Parliament.

“The establishment of the RCI is therefore expected to unravel the issue, which has shackled the country for the past 23 years,” the PMO said.

The task force presented its report to the Cabinet yesterday, in line with the mandate for it to complete the investigation into the BNM losses within three months after its formation. The PMO said the task force found that there is a prima facie case to be answered by BNM for the losses and therefore, has recommended the formation of the RCI.

“The formation of the task force is in line with public interest, as it would be able to determine the BNM losses, which involved national reserves,” it said.

The PMO said the government was grateful to chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and its members and the KDP Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance, who had given full commitment in conducting preliminary investigations. — Bernama