RCI snubs lawyer’s call to report Jasa to police

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
The RCI on Bank Negara Malaysia’s currency trading losses rejected a lawyer’s bid today for it to file a police report against Putrajaya’s Special Affairs Department (Jasa). — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 19 — The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara Malaysia’s currency trading losses rejected a lawyer’s bid today for it to file a police report against Putrajaya’s Special Affairs Department (Jasa).

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla cited a press report of Jasa director-general Datuk Puad Zarkashi, which he said insinuated that former minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop had tried to protect Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad while testifying before the RCI.

He said Section 12(2) of the Commissions of Enquiry Act punishes threats, harm, and insults against those who testify before such commissions.

He also urged the panel to recall former BNM deputy governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid for further cross-examination, and to retract its “conclusion made during the first hearing that the losses amounted to RM31.5 billion.

After a brief recess, the panel rejected the call for it to report Jasa, saying it was unaware of the alleged remarks.

“I never heard this before, the issue brought up by the counsel. I didn’t know, the other panellists didn’t know. These are not relevant to us,” said RCI chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

He also said the panel will not recall Murad or amend the “conclusion”.

The RCI was formed to investigate BNM’s currency trading losses between 1991 and 1994.