Two former Bank Negara bigwigs appeared before the RCI yesterday, while Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to testify today.
Former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) adviser Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop says he cannot remember if foreign exchange transactions in the 1990s resulted in profits or losses.
“I don’t remember about the profits and losses in the forex transactions from the year 1986 until 1993,” he told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the central bank’s foreign exchange losses in the early 1990s.
Nor Mohamed, 70, said he did not at any time between 1986 and 1993 discuss Bank Negara foreign exchange transactions with the-then finance minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Former BNM governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, 70, also testified at the RCI on Wednesday and said that her first direct involvement in the bank’s reserve management was during her assignment at the London office, where US$200mil was allocated for the central bank’s investments.
She said initially the London office did not undertake any foreign exchange transactions and later the office was allowed to make investments in instruments denominated in other currencies, which required foreign exchange transactions to be undertaken.
“The foreign exchange transactions were to support the investment activities and not to take positions on any currencies.
“After two or three years, the amount allocated to the London and New York offices was increased from USD200mil to USD500mil,” she said.
“It remains at that level until today. The role of both the London and New York offices remains the same until the present.
“Both the London and New York offices do not participate in the reserve management activities by the head office. This arrangement continues till today,” Zeti said.
Earlier, former attorney-general Ainum Mohd Saaid, 71, told the RCI that the Atorney-General’s Chambers did not fully accept the way the central bank interpreted the law regarding foreign currency transactions.
She said the Attorney-General’s office received a letter dated Feb 9, 1990, from Bank Negara for her attention (she was then heading its advisory division) entitled ‘Foreign Exchange Transactions By Bank Negara’.
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