PUTRAJAYA, Sept 7 ― It is “absurd” the describe Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign exchange trading losses in the 1990s as a “lesson” that helped the country in the Asian Financial Crisis, former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.
Testifying before the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigating the losses, Anwar was responding to former BNM assistant governor Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop, who was in charge of forex trading in BNM and had described the incident as a “lesson” that helped in the 1997/1998 crisis.
“You don’t have to cost the country billions of ringgit in order to learn a lesson,” Anwar said.
“Go to business school (for lessons),” he added.
Anwar said that even though the “intentions were right”, the responsible parties “must be accountable” for what had happened.
Yesterday, Nor Mohamed said that while he accepted responsibility for the losses, he also believes his experience at the forex desk enabled him to help the country weather the financial crisis.