Special Task Force to probe BNM forex losses to present findings in three months

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR

PUTRAJAYA: The Special Task Force set up to probe Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) forex losses in the 1990s will present its findings to the Cabinet in three months.

If necessary, this will include the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the matter.

Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, who is the task force chairman, said the six-member team will focus on three terms of reference.

These include conducting preliminary investigations into losses by BNM related to its speculative foreign currency transactions.

“The task force 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 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," Sidek said in a statement, today.

Sidek, who is former Chief Secretary to the Government, said that to achieve this, the task force will look into all aspects of the case.

“These include the roles and functions of BNM and/or other body corporate or individuals in the speculative foreign currency transactions including matters pertaining to authorisation and management of the said activities.

“We will also look into compliance with relevant laws, regulations and guidelines pertaining to BNM's roles and functions in the foreign currency transactions.

“We will also investigate whether there was any attempt to cover up the real scale of BNM's losses, as well as the individuals complicit in the cover up," he said.

Sidek also announced the identities of the task force’s six members.

They are Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission deputy chief commissioner Datuk Azam Baki; Police Commercial Crimes Department director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani; Securities Commission Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh; Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) chief executive officer Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad; Pemudah co-chairman Tan SriSaw Choo Boon; and lawyer Datuk Seri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos.

Sidek also named the Finance Ministry’s Strategic Investment Division director Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail as the task force secretary and secretariat head.

“We aim to complete our investigation and present our findings to the cabinet in three months.

“This will include a recommendation on whether a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be formed to investigate these claims in greater detail," he said.

He said those with information on the matter can contact the task force via email at taskforcefx@treasury.gov.my or by calling 03-8000 8000.