KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — More investigation is needed to determine Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s role in Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) alleged foreign exchange losses from the 1990s, said the Royal Commission of Inquiry that examined the matter.
Despite the former prime minister’s testimony, the panel said in its report tabled in Parliament today that Dr Mahathir may possess more information than he previously claimed to know.
“The conclusion that he could have been aware of the actual losses is not without merit,” the commissioned concluded while discussing Dr Mahathir’s responsibility in the matter.
In the report, RCI also determined that the total losses incurred by BNM in the scandal stood at RM31.5 billion, a figure previously alleged by a former official from the central bank.
“Despite his denials, the commission is of the opinion that a thorough investigation should be carried out to determine the extent of (Dr Mahathir’s) involvement and liability on the matter,” it said.
Dr Mahathir was among witnesses called up by the five-member RCI during its hearings earlier this year.
Then, he reiterated that he did not have direct knowledge of the trading activities by the central bank or the losses incurred thereafter.
The witnesses during the RCI did not establish if Dr Mahathir had direct knowledge regarding the forex operations and the subsequent losses, with many delegating the responsibility to the BNM top leaders at the time.