RCI needed as forex scandal still hurting ringgit, say former BNM officials

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bank Negara Malaysia — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 ― Repercussions from Bank Negara Malaysia’s foreign exchange over two decades ago remain until today, said two former officials in support of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the matter.

According to Utusan Malaysia, former BNM economic department senior manager Dr Rosli Yaakop and former assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid both said the central bank would have more reserves to prop up the ringgit now were it not for the scandal that allegedly cost the bank US$10 billion in the 1990s.

Murad yesterday also asserted that the amount could have appreciated to RM100 billion today based on a 4-per cent annual interest rate.

“The impact from this scandal has been prolonged and can be felt until now, so it is critical that a RCI is formed. BNM had lost a chunk of its reserve due to the forex activity back then,” Rosli reportedly said. Read more

Forex scandal possibly cost Malaysia RM100b, ex-official claims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hasil laporan pasukan petugas khas yang dibentangkan hari ini mendapati wujudnya kes prima facie bagi kerugian BNM sekitar tahun 1980-an dan 1990-an. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — Malaysia’s foreign reserves could have been RM100 billion greater had Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) not lost heavily in the currency market over two decades ago, according to Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid.

The former BNM assistant governor, whose allegations that BNM frittered away more than US$10 billion (RM42.8 billion) prompted renewed examination of the scandal this year, based this on the opportunity cost of losing the alleged amount then.

“We are losing RM4 billion in income annually because of the scandal. The total losses then were US$10 billion which is equivalent to about RM40 billion today.

“The money would have increased to US$ 26.6 billion or more than RM100 billion, if it had been kept in government savings, at a compound interest of four per cent annually,” he was quoted as saying. Read more

Bank Negara tiada kuasa bertindak ke atas 1MDB, kata Zeti

Sumber: FMT News

Bekas gabenor BNM, Zeti Akhtar Aziz berkata, siasatan kes 1MDB adalah tugas paling sukar ketika beliau mengetuai bank pusat itu. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) tiada kuasa mengambil tindakan lanjut, selain mendenda “badan dan institusi kewangan berkaitan” yang melanggar peraturan berkaitan kes 1MDB.

Pengakuan itu dibuat bekas gabenor BNM, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz yang dipetik Sin Chew Daily sebagai berkata, mengendalikan kes 1MDB adalah tugas paling sukar ketika beliau mengetuai bank pusat itu.

“Walaupun pihak luar mempunyai jangkaan sangat tinggi terhadap Bank Negara, namun ia tiada kuasa untuk mendakwa.

“Bank Negara mempunyai undang-undang paling komprehensif, termasuk Akta Bank Negara Malaysia 2009 dan Akta Perkhidmatan Kewangan 2013 untuk melindungi integriti, kestabilan dan fungsi sistem kewangan sihat.

“Jadi, kami boleh keluarkan surat kompaun pentadbiran kepada badan dan institusi kewangan melanggar peraturan Bank Negara dalam kes 1MDB. Denda yang dikenakan itu mungkin yang tertinggi dalam sejarah,” katanya sambil menjelaskan keseluruhan perkara itu diselesaikan dengan bayaran denda.

Beliau berkata, objektif utama BNM dalam menangani kes 1MDB adalah memastikan integriti sistem kewangan negara. Read more

Pasukan Petugas Khas tiada niat jejas reputasi Bank Negara

Sumber: FMT News

Sidek Hassan yang mengetuai Pasukan Petugas Khas siasat kerugian forex pada 1980-an dan 1990-an mahu menutup isu itu. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pasukan Petugas Khas (STF) yang dibentuk untuk menyiasat kerugian tukaran asing pada 1980-an dan 1990-an tidak berniat menjejaskan reputasi Bank Negara Malaysia, sebaliknya ia mahu menutup terus isu berkenaan.

“Saya perlu katakan BNM merupakan institusi yang bukan sahaja dihormati di Malaysia, bahkan di peringkat antarabangsa, dan ini sangat positif untuk kita.

“Bukanlah niat pasukan petugas untuk menjejaskannya, malah kami berbangga dengannya (pencapaian Bank Negara Malaysia),” kata bekas ketua setiausaha negara, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan pada temu bual bersama sekumpulan media semalam.

Beliau mengulas kenyataan bekas gabenor BNM, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz mengenai isu itu baru-baru ini yang BNM mengambil langkah perlu dalam memastikan insiden 1980-an dan 1990-an tidak berulang. Read more

Kabinet setuju tubuh RCI siasat kerugian forex BNM

Sumber: FMT News

Hasil laporan pasukan petugas khas yang dibentangkan hari ini mendapati wujudnya kes prima facie bagi kerugian BNM sekitar tahun 1980-an dan 1990-an. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Kabinet hari ini bersetuju dengan syor pasukan petugas khas (PPK) yang mengesyorkan terdapat keperluan menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) bagi membolehkan siasatan mengenai kerugian Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) sekitar tahun 1980-an dan 1990-an.

Pejabat Perdana Menteri (PMO) berkata hasil laporan PPK yang dibentangkan hari ini mendapati wujudnya kes prima facie bagi kerugian BNM akibat dagangan mata wang asing dalam tempoh tersebut.

“Penubuhan RCI ini akan membolehkan siasatan terperinci yang lebih menyeluruh dapat dilakukan berdasarkan lunas-lunas perundangan dan dilindungi di bawah Akta 119.

“Penubuhan RCI ini juga adalah bertujuan untuk menjaga kepentingan awam di mana kerugian sebenar BNM akibat urus niaga mata wang asing melibatkan rizab negara dapat dipastikan. Read more

‘1MDB case is closed’ – Bank Negara Malaysia

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) have been completed and all necessary actions have been taken against the state investment fund, Bank Negara governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said.

“We have imposed a penalty on the company. We have taken all the necessary actions against the company as entrusted to us under the law, and we have closed the investigations,” he said.

Muhammad was responding to questions on whether the central bank would initiate a new investigation into 1MDB in view of findings by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Last month, the DOJ filed a civil suit against several individuals to seize more than US$1bil (RM4.01bil) worth of assets which it said were the result of US$3.5bil misappropriated from 1MDB.

Bank Negara “will be guided by international protocols” if the DOJ approaches the central bank for assistance in its investigation, said Muhammad.

“When it comes to international collaboration, we are dictated by certain protocols.

“We will abide strictly by those protocols when it comes to cooperation with any external investigating bodies,” said Muhammad during a press conference here. Read more

Case closed on 1MDB, Bank Negara says despite Swiss BSI Bank probe

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the investigation on 1MDB was concluded after the firm paid a fine. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said the investigation on 1MDB was concluded after the firm paid a fine. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) announced today that its investigation on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was concluded when the firm paid a fine to it, despite Switzerland opening criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over links to the firm.

Newly-appointed BNM governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said, however, that BNM would continue to cooperate on the matter.

“As far as we are concerned, 1MDB has paid their compound and with that, that is the conclusion of our investigation within Bank Negara Malaysia’s rules and regulations and the law that we administer,” Muhammad told reporters at the sidelines of the 20th Malaysian Banking Summit here.

“There are other laws administered by other authorities,” he added, when asked if BNM would reopen investigations on 1MDB in light of the Swiss authorities launching criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over money laundering allegations. Read more

Bank Negara can act against 1MDB under Financial Services Act

Source: The Malaysian Insider

As the financial regulator, Bank Negara Malaysia says the imposition of monetary penalties against any party that breaches local financial laws is within its sole purview, outside of any criminal charges that may be sought through the Attorney-General’s Chambers. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 19, 2015.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) are empowered to take enforcement action, also known as administrative action, on parties that are found to have transgressed or have not complied with rules and regulations issued under the Financial Services Act.

“These actions may be taken concurrently with, and are separate and distinct from, criminal proceedings that are under the sole purview of the Attorney-General.”

The central bank said this in a statement to provide clarity regarding its powers to enforce in compliance with the regulatory laws that are administered by the central bank.

Hence, separate from any decision on criminal proceedings, the central bank is authorised under the Financial Services Act 2013 and Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 to pursue administrative actions.

“This would include the imposition of monetary penalties, issuance of an order to comply, making restitution to any person aggrieved by a breach, public and private reprimands and an order to take steps to mitigate or remedy a breach.

“This is to ensure the integrity of, and confidence, in the financial system,” the central bank said. Read more

Justice must prevail – Akhbar Satar

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY AKHBAR SATAR

Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) views with grave concern the recent arrest of former Umno Batu Kawan division deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang, the newly appointed attorney-general’s (A-G) refusal to press charges against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) officials despite two appeals from Bank Negara, and the Conference of Rulers’ statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal over 1MDB.

Khairuddin and Matthias were both scheduled to leave for New York and then London on September 18. However both were blacklisted and prohibited from leaving the country by the Immigration Department on police orders.

Later, Khairuddin was arrested and then released, but he was subsequently rearrested under a different act. This was followed by Matthias’s arrest.

Khairuddin was accused of sabotaging the country after it was discovered that he had lodged reports with investigators in Hong Kong, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom over the 1MDB scandal. Both Khairuddin and Matthias are now arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

TI-M strongly condemns the use of this law to detain whistle-blowers without trial. If the police have strong reasons to believe the duo are a threat to national security, they should be charged and tried accordingly. Detaining them for 28 days without trial is an abuse of power by the authorities. What has happened to all the government’s promises of non-abuse when Sosma was first introduced? Read more

Public can challenge A-G’s refusal to charge 1MDB, say lawyers

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Bank Negara Malaysia can challenge in court the Attorney- General’s decision to drop investigations into 1MDB, say lawyers. – Reuters file pic, October 10, 2015.

Any member of the public or entity, including Bank Negara Malaysia, can challenge in court the Attorney-General’s decision that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has not committed any offence despite the central bank’s appeal to review the case, lawyers said.

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said such a challenge had never been mounted in Malaysia but it had been done in other Commonwealth jurisdictions.

“If one thinks that there is bad faith by the A-G’s refusal to prosecute, one could go to the court for remedy,” said the criminal lawyer.

This legal view comes as the central bank issued a statement yesterday that its probe into 1MDB had found that the state investor made inaccurate or incomplete disclosures to secure permissions for overseas investments. Read more