Likening it to Lavida Coin, Najib demands names behind Harapan Coin

Datuk Seri Najib Razak questioned why the Haparan Coin was allowed to operate a website that is actively soliciting interest when authorities have yet to announce any approval. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Datuk Seri Najib Razak questioned why the Haparan Coin was allowed to operate a website that is actively soliciting interest when authorities have yet to announce any approval. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak called out Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission today over their silence on a minister’s proposal for a Harapan Coin, saying consumers were potentially at risk.

He questioned why the Haparan Coin was allowed to operate a website that is actively soliciting interest when authorities have yet to announce any approval.

“Who is monitoring and auditing (this)?” he asked on Facebook.

“Why has Bank Negara and the Securities Commission not issued an alert and why have they not investigated the mastermind behind the Harapan Coin? I repeat: name them one by one.”

BNM placed Lavida Coin on the Financial Consumer Alert in August after it found the firm operated by cosmetic millionaire Datuk Seri Hasmiza Othman to be neither registered nor authorised under local banking laws.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad proposed the so-called Harapan Coin in July as a means for political fundraising, but the choice of a cryptocurrency offering sent the bid straight into controversy.

Cryptocurrencies are a new development in financial technology and most legal jurisdictions have yet to catch up with it, which has allowed it to operate in a legal grey area.

As a result of its esoteric nature, cryptocurrency trading is considered extremely risky due to the lack of regulation, susceptibility to fraud, and volatility.

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