PUTRAJAYA, Sept 7 ― Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today insisted that the Cabinet in 1993 were aware of the losses incurred by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) via foreign exchange trading.
His assertions come despite repeated claims by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan that the Cabinet was unaware of the matter.
In the RCI proceeding investigating the forex losses, Mohd Sidek repeatedly said that Anwar did not declare the actual losses of the forex trade to the Cabinet despite personally being informed of it.
But Anwar stressed that his referral to a final audited BNM report that only declared RM5.7 billion in forex losses in a Cabinet presentation was not equivalent to him concealing information from the Cabinet.
“I take issues with any cabinet minister who says they were not aware of the losses,” he said.
Anwar also asked Sidek not to "politicise" the issue after the latter repeatedly suggested that Anwar did not disclose the real nature of the losses to the cabinet members.
The disagreement stems mainly from Anwar's decision to present BNM's final audited annual report to the cabinet, which states the losses as amounting to RM5.7 billion.
Anwar previously received a report from the Auditor-General saying that BNM's losses could amount to more than RM12 billion.
However, upon discussions with BNM, the final audit report reflected a lower amount of losses.
Anwar stressed that as a Minister, he was supposed to table the final report and not disclose the initial letter regarding the extent of losses.
He also said that he did mention of RM9.3 billion worth of exposed positions while presenting the final report, meaning cabinet members were aware of potentially larger amount of losses.