Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bank Negara FOREX scandal

Former Bank Negara (BN) governor, the late Jaffar Hussein was "among the main architects of foreign exchange speculation" that caused losses of up to 30 billion ringgit, a former BN official has alleged, contrary to assertions by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Rosli Yaakop, who until April 1994 was the bank's economics department deputy manager, told malaysiakini.com that Jaffar could not be released from sharing the responsibility together with second finance minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop for the losses that occurred between 1992 to 1994.

Rosli was at Bank Negara then and he said he knew the inside story.

In an exclusive interview with malaysiakini.com last week, Anwar claimed that Jaffar "did not know about it (the losses)" and "genuinely thought that it was a small amount".

Anwar, then finance minister, named former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as having been in cahoots with former finance minister Daim Zainuddin and Nor Mohamed to cause the losses.

Jaffar and Nor Mohamed, then assistant governor in charge of investment, reserve management and foreign exchange trading, were made to step down following an internal inquiry.

Rosli told malaysiakini that Jaffar's biggest mistake while leading Bank Negara was "placing too much trust in Nor Mohamed and failing to discern breach of Bank Negara regulations and (currency) market norms."

In the final analysis, Rosli said the actions of Jaffar and Nor Mohamed had led the people's money to "go down the drain" and had burdened the public.

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