By Aathi Shankar
KUALA LUMPUR: Pekan MP Najib Razak today taunted DAP permanent leader Lim Kit Siang for skirting press questions over the infamous multi-billion Forex Scandal that happened under the 4th Prime Minister’s watch.
Kit Siang was at an arts and culture event organised by the DAP in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur last night, Tuesday July 2, 2019, when reporters asked his comments on the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) recommendations on Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) multi-billion losses suffered in 1990s due to the scandal.
But the Iskandar Puteri MP, who had been vocal on the Forex Scandal until recently, declined comment on the colossal financial scandal with a lame excuse that “it’s not the right place (for such comments). It’s arts and culture (event)”.
“Eh! What kind of excuse is this?” asked Najib in his Facebook posting today, Wednesday, July 3, 2019, taunting Kit Siang for being evasive on an issue that the DAP supremo had cried foul for nearly three decades until he tied up with Tun Mahathir Mohamad before the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018.
Najib said Kit Siang, who is commonly known as MenHEN (Minister in charge of Najib’s Affairs), could have easily picked one of the two available optional answers to state his stand to the media, instead of giving a lame excuse.
The former premier suggested that Kit Siang should have revealed whether he wanted or not the Pakatan Harapan government to abide by the RCI recommendations to step up investigations into the BNM-Forex Scandal.
Najib’s proposed optional answers for Kit Siang were:
A.‘I’m still sane and have integrity. Thus I disagree with the PH government to stop investigations into the Forex Scandal that I had crusaded for over past 10 years. So we must abide by the recommendations made by RCI’;
B.‘I am not sane and have no integrity. Therefore I agree that the investigation should stop. The loss of RM31.5 billion of people’s money is not important. There is no need for anyone to be accountable and responsible for the losses. In the past, I have only carried out a hate campaign to incite the people. Truth is I’m least bothered about it even though I’ve written a book, held hundreds of rallies and issued numerous press statements on the scandal’.
“MenHEN, even this has to be taught?” Najib taunted Kit Siang, who had stopped screaming over the scandal since the DAP formed the federal government under Mahathir as the 7th Prime Minister in GE14.
The RCI was conducted in 2017 following claims by former BNM Assistant Governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid that the central bank lost far more due to Forex trading in the 1990s than previously reported.
During the hearings, the five-man panel heard that BNM lost a total of RM32.07 billion between 1988 and 1994, then under Mahathir’s first 22-year premiership tenure.
However, only RM5.7 billion was recorded as deferred expenditure in 1993.
Based on the outcome of the inquiry, the RCI’s secretary Yusof Ismail filed a police report on Nov 30, 2017 due to possible breach of trust in the incident.
On Tuesday, de facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said in a written reply to Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament) that the police report had been withdrawn concurrent with the lack of documentary evidence to prove the allegation.
“As such, the case was declared as NFA (no further action),” Liew said, responding to a question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) on the matter.
Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah reportedly called on the PH government to implement the RCI proposals.
“If it has become something that affects the state of affairs of the country, and if certain actions were recommended, they should be implemented. It’s fair, isn’t it? Otherwise why have a royal commission of inquiry?” asked the Kelantan Prince, commonly known as Ku Li.