Agong consents to CoI on BNM forex losses

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V has given his consent to the formation of a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate the foreign-exchange (forex) currency transaction losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) during the 1990s, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

In a statement yesterday, the PMO said the formation of the commission was done according to the Commission of Inquiry Act 1950 (Act 119) and had taken effect from July 15, 2017.

In line with the provisions under the Act, Sultan Muhammad V has also consented to the appointment of Petroliam Nasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan as the commission’s chairman.

The commission will have the power and jurisdiction to determine the authenticity of the allegation on the forex losses suffered by BNM in the 1990s and its implications on the national economy; determine whether BNM’s involvement in the forex activities which caused the losses contradicted the Central Bank Ordinance 1958 or any relevant laws; determine whether there were elements of hidden facts and information relating to the forex losses and misleading statements given to the Cabinet, Parliament and the public; recommend suitable actions to be taken against those found to be directly and/or indirectly involved in causing the losses, and hiding the facts and in- formation on the losses; and recommend appropriate measures to ensure the incident will not recur.

The statement said the commission will complete its inquiry within three months from the date of its establishment and will submit its report to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Sultan Muhammad V also consented to the appointment of members of the commission comprising High Court Judge Datuk Wira Kamaludin Md Said, Bursa Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Special Task Force (STF) on Facilitating Business co-chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon and the member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the former partner of Ernst & Young, Pushpanathan SA Kanagarayar.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has also given his consent to the appointment of Finance Ministry Investment division secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail as the commission’s secretary.

On the appointment of Mohd Sidek as the commission’s chairman and Saw as its member, the statement said it was to ensure continuity as both of them were also in the STF set up to probe into the same inci- dent before.

Other members of the commission were appointed based on their qualifications and experiences in the fields related to the investigation, the statement added. — Bernama