Raja Petra Kamaruddin
I do not know whether it is true that RM42 billion of 1MDB’s cash has disappeared into thin air as some people claim. Anyway, let us for the benefit of the doubt just say that RM42 billion has indeed disappeared into thin air. This would mean RM100 billion has disappeared into thin air in total.
In 1992-1994, a total of RM30 billion also disappeared into thin air. Today, that RM30 billion is worth RM58 billion. I actually checked just to be sure. And RM42 billion today would have been worth RM22 billion back in 1992-1994.
This was what Lim Kit Siang said on 10th January 2004:
Nor Mohamed’s first job is to issue a White Paper to “exorcise the ghost” of the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses a decade ago to establish his suitability as the Second Finance Minister – apart from professionalism, a full commitment to accountability, transparency and good democratic governance.
In Parliament in 1994, I had given reasons as to why the Bank Negara’s forex losses as a result of its forex speculation operations could have amounted to as high as RM30 billion, which had not been seriously rebutted by any top government leader or Bank Negara official.
The reasons which I had advanced in Parliament in 1994 for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the colossal Bank Negara forex losses remain valid today, and should be the terms of reference of the White Paper which Nor Mohamed should present publicly as his first Ministerial duty, viz:
1. To determine the actual extent of the colossal forex losses suffered by Bank Negara 1992-1994;
2. Whether there had been any financial malpractices and abuses in view of the inconsistencies and conflicting explanations about the colossal forex losses; and
3. Establish how Bank Negara could incur such colossal losses.
One question which I raised in Parliament on May 3, 1994 in my speech on the 1993 and 1994 Supplementary Estimates had remained unanswered in the past decade and continues to haunt the corridors of power – whether Bank Negara’s maximum exposure at the height of its forward foreign exchange speculation was in the region of RM270 billion, which was three times the country’s GDP and more than five times the country’s foreign reserves at the time!
At that time Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister while Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. And, according to Kit Siang, they both lied to Parliament and Kit Siang called for their resignation and for them to be punished for lying to Parliament.
It is quite ironical that what Kit Siang was screaming about in 1994, and then again in 2004, today, Dr Mahathir is also screaming about the same thing. Then, of course, it was about RM58 billion disappearing in thin air and the RM270 billion exposure (RM518 billion today) while today it is about RM42 billion.
And today Dr Mahathir wants Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak prosecuted for lying to Parliament regarding RM1 billion while in 1994 Kit Siang wanted Dr Mahathir and Anwar to also ‘hang’ for lying to Parliament regarding RM30 billion.
What is that famous saying again? Ah, yes, that’s right: what goes around comes around.