Salleh: Anwar's latest statement on BNM forex scandal reflects 'flip flop' stand
By MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's latest revelation on the foreign exchange scandal in the 1990s shows that he is flip flopping on the issue.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the statement released by Anwar yesterday appeared to have been tailored for the current political situation he has found himself in.
"When he is with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar says one thing. When he is opposed to Mahathir, he says something else.
"And now that he is, again, with Mahathir, Anwar adds a new twist to the story," he said when contacted today.
Salleh was asked to comment on NST's front page report on Anwar's revelation that losses of between RM15 billion and RM30 billion were sustained during the foreign exchange scandal in the 1990s.
In confirming this to the task force, Anwar pointed his finger at the then Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop as the officer responsible for the billions of losses suffered by the central bank.
In elaborating, Salleh said that in 1993, Anwar had then denied the central bank had lost money, but subsequently told Parliament in 1994 that it was a small paper loss.
"You can check the Parliament Hansard. In 1994, he told Parliament it was a small paper loss. He also blamed the Bank Negara Governor for it and said the Governor had been asked to resign.
"In 2012, in a forum in Penang, he changed his story. The forum was also told the loss was USD10 billion and they blamed three people for it, Tun Daim Zainuddin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad included.
"Now Anwar says something else and blames just Nor Mohamed Yakcop," he said.
Salleh stressed that this was why there is a need to further probe the matter.
"If the truth had been revealed 24 years ago, we would not still be investigating the matter today," he said.
The government had set up a task force to probe BNM's forex losses on March 14 this year.
It is led by former Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and assisted by a six-member team.
It will investigate whether there was any action to cover up the losses, and whether misleading statements on the matter were presented to Parliament.
The task force will then submit recommendations on further action to the government, including the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, if necessary, based on the results of the investigation.