PUTRAJAYA, Aug 24 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted today to deep knowledge of Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign exchange trading losses that he believes is of relevance to an ongoing royal inquiry.
The former prime minister turned up at the Palace of Justice court complex here on the third day of an ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the financial scandal that took place during the first half of his 22-year-long leadership.
“I must admit I know quite a lot, maybe this is of the interest of the commission to know what I know,” Dr Mahathir told reporters outside the court complex.
The government leader-turned-critic has been alleged to be behind the central bank’s forex losses.
However, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman also said he would not resign from his post in the Opposition party or the Pakatan Harapan pact if he was later found by the RCI to have played a role in the forex losses.
“I won’t accept it. It has nothing to do with my politics,” he said in the context of a forced resignation.
Still sprightly at 92, Dr Mahathir expressed surprise that he had been rumoured to be suffering from poor health recently and even warded in a hospital.
“Do you look at me as if I’ve recovered from a very serious illness? I am okay.
“But, lots of people have wishful thinking. They would wish I’m dead. I’m a nuisance. I’m a danger to the whole nation,” he responded.
The five-member RCI panel led by former chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan is currently examining the facts of BNM’s massive losses, said to be worth RM31.5 billion, suffered by Malaysia’s central bank between 1991 and 1994.
It is to determine if BNM’s foreign exchange dealings which incurred those losses had breached the Central Bank Ordinance 1958 or other relevant laws.
The RCI panel has to complete its inquiry and submit its report to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong within three months by the scheduled date of October 13.