Najib points at Mahathir’s era forex scandal after judge’s ‘national embarrassment’ remark

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Najib claimed that the foreign exchange scandal linked to Mahathir’s administration was a “much more colossal national embarrassment”.

Disappointed with the “national embarrassment” remark made by Court of Appeal judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil over the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, Najib Razak today said that the foreign exchange scandal linked to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration was a “much more colossal national embarrassment”.

In a press conference today, Najib said he was very disappointed with Karim’s remarks, adding that he had always promoted national interest during his tenure as prime minister, which saw the country’s assets grow from RM800 million to RM2 trillion under his watch.

He was responding to Karim who when reading the judgment today said there was no national interest when RM42 million was transferred into Najib’s accounts; instead, it was a national embarrassment.

“Therefore, I created a lot of wealth for the country. That is just one example,” Najib said.

“If you talk about national embarrassment there are other incidents or scandalous issues. For example, the scandal surrounding the forex which led to a loss of RM31 billion.

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“If you put that in context, isn’t that a much more colossal national embarrassment. I just like to put it in proper perspective.”

He was referring to a Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) multi-billion-dollar forex exchange losses scandal which took place between 1987 and 1992 when Dr Mahathir was prime minister. A Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the scandal was launched in 2017.

Dr Mahathir previously said he was told the losses were RM10 billion. He also denied knowledge of BNM’s dealings and said he only knew what was reported to Parliament.

Najib went on to add that the Pakatan Harapan government decided not to proceed with the RCI initiated under his administration and classified it as “no further action is required”.

“A loss of RM31 billion was classified as No Further Action,” he added.