The Israeli In KL

When Israeli diplomat David Roet attended a United Nations conference in Kuala Lumpur recently, the Opposition went into full swing trying to discredit the government saying that it wants to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

In a statement, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) explicitly states that the invitations to the Israeli delegates was issued by the UN as per Article III of the Host Country Agreement signed by the organisation and Malaysia so that the UN is able to conduct its conferences away from any of its established headquarters.

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The Article states, in part, that the Forum shall be opened to all UN member states and its Specialised Agencies. This was confirmed by Israel’s Hadashot TV which reported that Malaysia was compelled to host the Israelis, since it was required to grant visas to all delegations in order to hold the international conference.  Therefore, it is immaterial whether or not Malaysia has diplomatic relations with Israel.  It is for the same reason that Fidel Castro was able to attend the UN summit in New York in 1976, 1995 and 2000.

Malaysia-Israeli Relations

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If you walk along Jalan Zainal Abidin in Pulau Pinang which is just off Burmah Road near the Tune Hotel, you will come across an old cemetery.  That is a Jewish Cemetery.  Jalan Zainal Abidin was once called Jalan Yahudi or Jew Street, the only evidence that a Jewish enclave once existed on the island.

Israel first established contact with our pre-independence government in 1956 when Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett visited Malaya to propose the appointment of an Israeli consul in Malaya.  Israel also voted in favour of the Malayan bid to become a UN member in 1957.  Trade between the two countries was in place.  This was banned in 1974, after the Yom Kippur war, but indirect trade (through third countries) was in place.

An Opposition supporter was quick to point out that according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, between 2008 and 2011 trade between the two countries fluctuated considerably.  Israel’s exports to Malaysia peaked at USD798 million in 2010 while imports from Malaysia peaked in 2011 at USD93.6 million.

Although the preriod shown above shows the statistics was for the period between the end of Abdullah Badawi’s administration and the commencement of the Najib Razak administration, the flourish in trade could be traced back to the Mahathir administration.  In December 1993, as a consequence of the Oslo I Accord, Mahathir wrote a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

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Mahathir’s letter to Yitzhak Rabin in December 1993

The photo of the letter may be a bit difficult to read but I shall provide the transcript here:

PRIME MINISTER, MALAYSIA

21 December 1993

His Excellency Mr Yitzhak Rabin Prime Minister of Israel, JERUSALEM

I would like to thank you for your letter of 17 October informing me about the Agreement of Principles and Mutual Recognition between Israel and the PLO.

My government supports this positive development and views it as a first step towards the realization of a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem. As a demonstration of Malaysia’s support to this development my country was represented at the Donor’s Conference to support The Middle East Peace held in Washington and subsequently pledged a modest financial contribution to the Palestinians to assist in their new tasks. My government has also offered the Palestinians technical assistance under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.

Malaysia as a matter of general principle is prepared to develop relations with Israel at the appropriate time. In the meantime, we would like to see tangible progress in the implementation of the peace agreement.

The Middle East problem particularly the Palestinian issue has been a cause of instability to the region and I hope the recent agreement between Israel and PLO would contribute to lasting peace to the area.

I look forward to normal relations with Israel.

DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD

I intentionally made bold the last line because, while the rest of the content which, obviously was drafted by someone else, Mahathir wrote that bold part saying he looked forward to normal relations with Israel himself.  Yes, it was handwritten.

In the most recent diplomatic history, Obama wished to have normal relations with Cuba.  Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba was subsequently restored.  The following year, PKR’s Chua Jui Meng, who was the then-Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, suggested that Israel could eventually become a destination for Malaysia’s investments (Shanti Nair, Routledge, 1997 p.252).

As a result, in 1999 Israeli exports to Malaysia totalled USD107 million.  In 2000, it was USD732 million, and USD615.5 million the following year.  In 2002, the Israel Ministry of Industry report on trade relations with Indonesia and Malaysia advised Israelis interested in conducting business with Malaysian companies that “there is no opposition to trade and commerce relations as long as a low profile is kept“.

Discretion is essential for these companies, not just in Malaysia but also in Indonesia.  Reputation and financial damage are the risks for companies in these two countries if they are known to be doing trade with Israel.  According to Emanuel Shahaf, the vice chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, “There are two contradictory trends. The pro trend is that Indonesia demands more high-tech things… The negative trend is the political situation is not getting better (when it comes to Israel), in fact it’s getting worse.”

Mahathir’s son Mukhriz, who was the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry in 2011 confirmed that Malaysia has had bilateral trade relations with Israel since 1996.

Mukhriz tweeted “Upon request from large foreign investors here, in 1996 the Cabinet instructed MITI to approve import from and export to Israel.” The relevation came as a surprise, especially as the trade ties were established during the Mahathir administration.  Mahathir has been a vocal opponent of Israel and continues to project this false stand via his Perdana Leadership Foundation which openly opposes Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.  Najib took over from Abdullah only in 2009.

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So, thank you Mahathir for his eagerness to start a diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1993.

Congratulations also to the Opposition states as they received a lot of FDI from Israeli companies.  Don’t forget to thank Mukhriz for that information and confirmation.

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Shalom Alekhem!

Adakah Pakatan Bercadang Untuk Mensabotaj FELDA?

Satu delegasi Pakatan yang digambarkan diketuai oleh ‘Perdana Menteri’ Mahathir telah bertemu dengan 14 orang duta dari negara-negara European Union (EU).

Delegasi Pakatan tersebut yang juga dianggotai oleh Saifuddin Abdullah, Tan Kok Wai, Xavier Jeyakumar dan Mat Sabu telah membuat pertemuan tersebut di kediaman Duta dan Ketua Delegasi EU ke Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fernández.

Dalam perbincangan tersebut, Mat Sabu dikatakan telah mencadangkan agar Malaysia didesak untuk membenarkan negara-negara EU tersebut menerima pemerhati semasa pilihanraya umum yang akan datang.

Apa yang kita ketahui ialah negara-negara EU telah melarang minyak sawit dari diperdagangkan di negara-negara mereka untuk pembuatan biodiesel dua hari yang lepas. Langkah ini bukan sahaja menjejaskan para peneroka FELDA serta para pekebun kecil di Malaysia, malah juga para peneroka dan pekebun kecil di negara jiran kita, Indonesia.

Persoalannya sekarang ialah adakah Pakatan Harapan, dalam kegilaannya untuk merampas tampuk kuasa, telah bersekongkol dengan EU untuk memberi tekanan terhadap kerajaan Barisan Nasional?

Jika kita ambil kira kesanggupan Mahathir untuk menjilat ludahnya sendiri serta bersekongkol dengan mereka yang lazim memburuk-burukkan Raja, Islam dan institusi-institusi Melayu, tidak menjadi pelik sekiranya benar mereka bersekongkol dengan negara luar untuk menjahanamkan ekonomi negara.

Pakatan Can Promise Sarawak The World

The question is, can it even deliver those promises?

In a recent article posted on Tian Chua’s Malaysia-Chronicle, Pakatan made a promise to Sarawakians – a promise that they claim the Barisan Nasional can never match.

If you have problems accessing the website, don’t worry. It has been spread via WhatsApp as usual and the content is as follows:

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A DEAL NAJIB CAN NEVER MATCH: SARAWAK TO KEEP 50% TAX REVENUE, 20% OIL & GAS ROYALTY, DECISION & EDUCATION RIGHTS TO BE RETURNED TO STATE GOVT – HARAPAN

Politics | January 20, 2018 by | 0 Comments

Pakatan Harapan’s Sarawak manifesto pledges that the state will retain 50 percent of all tax revenues collected in the state.

The state will also receive 20 percent from oil and gas royalties or its equivalent value from the federal government, according to the manifesto titled ‘New Deal for Sarawak Part Two’, which was released today.

“The government of Sarawak shall use these funds to shoulder the fiscal responsibility of the federal government in education and health,” the manifesto states.

Harapan also promised to set up a Petronas equivalent in the state, to be named Sarawak Petrogas, which would be wholly owned by the state government.

Sarawak Petrogas, which will be directly answerable to the Sarawak legislative assembly, will jointly manage oil and gas resources within the territorial borders and waters of Sarawak, together with Petronas, the manifesto says.

This is similar to Petroleum Sarawak, an oil and gas company started by the current Sarawak state government, which is meant to be an equal partner with Petronas for oil and gas activities in the state.

‘State can localise education syllabi’

With the decision rights returned to Sarawak in education and healthcare, the state can localise the education syllabi, review staffing and administrative policies, improve and upgrade the quality of all hospitals in the state and equip hospitals with cancer and heart centres, among others.

Harapan will also focus on speeding up the supply of clean water and electricity to all houses in Sarawak, both suburban and rural, as well as roads connecting rural native heartlands to stimulate economic growth in the interiors of Sarawak.

It will also ensure top priority is given to competent and eligible Sarawakians for employment and promotion in federal government departments and agencies in Sarawak.

World-class coaching facilities and a sports institute will be developed in Sarawak, the manifesto states, to equip and harness the potential of Sarawakian athletes.

Aside from its commitment to restore Sarawak to its original status within the context of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, Harapan said it would also form a Royal Commission to review various legislations that affect Sarawak’s rights to its natural resources.

These legislations include the Continental Shelf Act 1966, the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and the Territorial Sea Act 2012.

Harapan said Part Three of its New Deal for Sarawak would be released at a later date.

MKINI

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Hallelujah!

But before you even start to dance with joy, let me remind you that this is another one of those ad nauseam promises made, which can never be fulfilled, and will later be blamed on the Federal Constitution and the Federal Government.

Pakatan Harapan Sarawak cannot deliver fully on this promise because it is merely a state entity and cannot arrogate to the state what are Federal rights. As usual, Pakatan Harapan will refer to its non-existent utopian Federal Constitution when making such promises.

Even if it is a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government promise, it cannot fully deliver without the consent of the 11 Peninsular Malaysia states and Sabah because the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is an agreement inter se.

Any increase in the rights of one state vis a vis its position with the Federal Government diminishes the position of the other states vis a vis that one state as well as with the Federal Government . It will need the agreement of the other states in the Federation.

Therefore, Pakatan Harapan should stop making false promises and giving the people false hopes just because they (Pakatan Harapan) have false intelligence.

Mahathir’s Reformasi

It was a movement to topple the second most-hated dictator of the South East Asia. Tens of thousands would march on the streets of Kuala Lumpur chanting “Undur Mahathir, undur!” and the infamous “Reformasi!” after Anwar Ibrahim was summarily expelled from UMNO and denied a chance for the premiership over reasons Mahathir himself claims to have forgotten or something to that effect.

Leading this group of demonstrators was Anwar’s most loyal lieutenants, Azmin Ali, who was his Principal Private Secretary in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. With Anwar still in jail, Azmin is the most favourite choice for Pakatan’s Prime Minister-designate amongst the younger generation.

Or that was what we all thought would happen.

Suddenly, the 92-year old Mahathir manoeuvred his way into being accepted as the Prime Minister again if Pakatan wins the next general elections. DAP and the anti-Azmin camp inside PKR namely Wan Azizah’s camp accepted the nonagenarian but this was rejected by several opposition-friendly NGOs as well as Selangor’s PKR.

Several hints on social media platforms and insiders’ information of Anwar’s opposition to Mahathir being designated as Pakatan’s Prime Minister warranted an article by The Star’s Joceline Tan. The writing is all over the wall – REFORMASI is dead.

In a move seen to insult Mahathir, Azmin offered his Gombak parliamentary seat for Mahathir to contest in in the next general election, an offer rejected outright by the latter.

A leopard never changes its spots – and true to his character, Mahathir announced that he will deal with dissenters quietly – a reminder of his 22-year reign of terror.

Just like Anwar whose colour of underwear was made public for going against Mahathir, Azmin now finds tales of his sexual trysts being made public. We are reminded of the time Anina Saadudin’s steamy WhatsApp messages were made public after falling out with Mahathir’s inner circle.

Anything Azmin is now being attacked, therefore it’s going to be interesting to see how the champion of Reformasi will now go against the man he has been fighting against for the past 20 years.

If he fails, it would be Mahathir’s masterstroke – for killing off the Reformasi movement from inside and finally making it his own Reformasi where dissent can never be tolerated.

Welcome to Mahathir’s Reformasi – or Dictatorship 2.0 as we know it.

Reformasi Untuk Mahathir

Mahathir’s return to politics in 1973 was watched closely by other races, in particular the Chinese and Indians.  His meteoric rise to the Deputy Prime Minister’s post in 1976 was of grave concern by many.  His imminent Premiership caused a large number of migration by Malaysian Chinese.  Despite the economic growth in the late 1980s through 1997, some 42,000 Malaysian Chinese opted to work elsewhere.  This number includes some 14,000 Malaysian Chinese who were working illegally in Japan in 1993 (Shimada, 1994).

If citizenship is conferred on races other than the Malays, it is because the Malays consent to this,” wrote Mahathir in his book ‘The Malay Dilemma‘.

“The Chinese and Indians coming from countries with vast populations are less concerned about good behavior and manners. In their lives, nobility, which is always associated with breeding, was totally absent. Age and riches are the only things they defer to,” he added.

Calling for reforms such as the mandatory use of tamper-proof scales, Mahathir wrote of scales that can be used to shortchange customers and said, ”The small-time Chinese retailer is adept at this practice and unscrupulous enough to use it as a weapon in competition.”

Mahathir was the ultra-Malay to many including the Malays themselves.  Fears of race clashes haunted the voters during the run-up to the 1982 General Elections.  I remember being sent to Mimaland in Gombak with Datuk Latt Shariman (President, E-Sports Malaysia) on polling day in case something bad happens.  It was the first General Elections under Mahathir and it was called more than a year before the then-mandate ended.  Public rallies were banned citing ‘security’ reasons and only indoor gatherings and house-to-house canvassing were allowed (Lim Kit Siang, 22 March 1982).

Even though Malaysia’s economic growth peaked at 8 percent in the mid 1990s, it was mired in scandals involving the practice of cronyism and nepotism.  Lim Kit Siang wrote that Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz Mahathir – acted as companies’ directors, and that according to searches the DAP had made at the Registry of Companies at the end of 1994, Mirzan had interests in 98 companies, Mokhzani in 48 companies and Mukhriz in 67 companies (Lim Kit Siang, 16 June 1998).  Compared to the 213 companies his sons were directors in back in 1994, 488 is the number of companies Mahathir, daughter and sons are directors in as at end of 2016 (Wakeup Malaya, 6 January 2017).

The calls for Mahathir to resign in 1998 for practising nepotism and cronyism culminated in the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as his deputy in September of the same year, accusing the latter not only of being a tool for George Soros’s attacks on the country’s financial system but also for leading a morally-corrupted life.  Lim Kit Siang and other Opposition leaders were quick to embrace Anwar, acccepting him into their fold when it was just a year earlier that the late Karpal Singh had made mention of allegations of sexual misconducts against Anwar in a Parliamentary sitting – a scene not much different to Lim Kit Siang’s immediate acceptance of Mahathir after decades of mudslinging the latter.

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Anti-Mahathir demonstrations were held almost daily and then held every Friday afternoon at the National Mosque.  These demonstrations were quelled using brute force.  The ‘Reformasi’ movement was born, and the likes of theatre-practitioners such as Jo Kukathas were seen on the streets and interviewed by Maria Ressa saying “Enough is Enough” to Mahathir.  Anwar and several other pro-Reformasi and UMNO leaders critical of Mahathir were arrested without trial under the ISA including current DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat, then known by its acronym ADIL, was born out of hatred towards Mahathir, with the aim of toppling him and installing Anwar Ibrahim.  The 1999 General Elections saw how Mahathir suffered a pyrrhic victory, losing grounds in Kelantan and his homestate of Kedah, while losing Terengganu to PAS.  Mahathir-loyalists such as Ramli Ngah Talib, Megat Junid Megat Ayub and Sanusi Junid lost their seats.  That was the beginning of the sounding of the death knell for Mahathir’s virtually unchallenged reign.  During the UMNO General Assembly of 2002, he announced his resignation from party posts as well as Malaysia’s Prime Minister.

Ever since then, with the more open administrations of Pak Lah and Najib Razak, Mahathir became one of the targets of the Opposition in their blog posts, press statements as well as ceramahs.

In June 2012, Mahathir’s newly-made best friend even suggested that Mahathir is tried for his part in the BNM Forex scandal, hinting Egyptian Hosni Mubarak’s imprisonment as a comparison (Lim Kit Siang, 3 June 2012).

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But all is forgotten and forgiven now, even when Mahathir admitted that his apology was only customary and not sincere.  Despite veiled objections from Anwar and Azmin Ali’s camp, Mahathir was named at a Pakatan convention as their Prime Minister of choice albeit interim.   This underscores the fact that the leadership of Pakatans parties do not trust the younger generation to lead the coalition as the position of the elders and powers that come with the position, may be undermined by the younger ones.

The signal of dissent is clear.  Azmin only attended the convention for a while, not waiting for the announcement to be made while Karpal Singh’s daughter, Sangeet Kaur Deo,  has hit out at Pakatan which probably is suffering from a dearth of capable young leaders.  Even Mahathir once quipped that Anwar, who is 22 years his junior, may be too old to become a Prime Minister.

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On Facebook, we are seeing people in their 40s and 50s voicing out their concern over Pakatan’s choice of Prime Minister, alarmed that the monster they have put behind them, could very well jump out from underneath the bed and into their lives again.

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But it does not stop Mahathir from wanting to become the Prime Minister.  He once hinted that he may have to consider becoming the PM again, underscoring the fact that he does not trust anyone else.

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“I may be 93 but at 71 Anwar is much older!”

Wan Azizah may be blind to the fact that Mahathir had once denied the Premiership to her husband and went as far as making sure Anwar went to jail to keep him out of the way, while Lim Kit Siang is only friends with Mahathir because he needs the Malay votes to ensure Pakatan’s seats are sustained after the departure of PAS from the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

Will Mahathir be willing to step aside for Anwar Ibrahim or whoever else younger who would be more acceptable to the younger and middle-aged generation aware of his antics?  I doubt.  But as Sangeet mentioned above, it will be a return to Mahathirism, an era of abuse of power, cronyism and nepotism that the Reformasi movement was totally against.

Somehow, it seems that the Reformasi movement has become a tool for what it was totally against – ushering Mahathir into the premiership and welcoming again abuse of pwer, nepotism and cronyism.

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Anwar is NOT going to be MY PM

 

DAP Benefitted From Military Camps

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Recently Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong slammed Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Hussein for denying that an army camp was being built in Paloh, a state seat in the latter’s constituency of Sembrong.  Liew Chin Tong implied that the army camp is being built for political purposes.

“This proves that Barisan Nasional (BN) is using these army camps to increase voters in constituencies that it won with thin majorities in the 13th general election,” Liew told a press conference last week.

He said the inclusion of the army personnel in Paloh would increase the electorate by over 1,000 voters.

“In Paloh, DAP lost only by a few hundred votes and these new voters will result in another BN win,” he added.

The fact is that while members of the Malaysian Armed Forces swears its allegiance to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, His Majesty’s Government (the Government-of-the-Day), and the Country, each member of the Malaysian Armed Forces are free to vote for whom they are politically-inclined to support.  Therefore, having a military camp/base does not guarantee you any solid support for votes.  I had written at length on this issue of allegiance in a recent blog post.

Perhaps it would be good for Liew Chin Tong to admit that he won Kluang against the Barisan Nasional in 2013 because of the presence of a huge army camp, namely Kem Mahkota, that houses the 61st Royal Artillery Regiment as well as the 881st Regiment, Malaysian Army Aviation.

Come to think of it, out of the 89 Parliamentary seats won by the then-Pakatan Rakyat during the 13th General Elections four years ago, at least 18 parliamentary constituencies have major military camps/bases in them.  That is 20 percent of the total of parliamentary consituencies held by the Pakatan candidates. Here is the list that I have compiled:

Senarai Kem Tentera Bawah PH 2013

Let us take for example the Lumut Naval Base which is under PKR.  That base alone had 14,231 registered voters while PKR’s Mohamad Imran Abd Hamid won 40,308 votes.  Why didn’t Barisan Nasional win there?

Perhaps Liew Chin Tong should also inform all Malaysians that out of the 18 constituencies with major military camps/bases that was won by the Pakatan back in 2013, eight seats were won by the DAP. That is 44 percent!  Despite being the other “Malay” party within the Pakatan, PKR managed only seven seats or 38 percent. PAS could only get three then but one of those seats, Shah Alam, is now firmly under Khalid Samad of Amanah after he betrayed his oath to remain in PAS if nominated as a candidate and would divorce his wife if he jumps ship.  Shah Alam is the home of a major Royal Malaysian Air Force base – Subang.

Pakatan and its supporters should just stop politicising the Malaysian Armed Forces.  As towns and cities are developed, old camps and bases are no longer strategic nor conducive to be inhabited.  How could Pakatan, advertising that it is all for rights and stuff, allow military personnel to live and work in deplorable and antiquated conditions?  And as development creep into their surrounding areas, military bases are no longer of any strategic value.  I have addressed this issue in a posting of mine and so has my friend Danny Liew in his recent posting.

So, wouldn’t DAP now like to offer a piece of land in constituencies held by it for Hishammuddin to build military bases or camps?

BNM Forex Scandal: A Crime Against Malaysians Exposed By Lim Kit Siang

I simply do not comprehend the fuss that is being kicked up by Mahathir’s fanatics.  On one hand they want the transparency that none of us got when Mahathir was the Prime Minister; on the other they are fuming because Mahathir, Nor Mohamed Yackop and Anwar have been implicated in the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) foreign exchange scandal of the 1990s.

Mahathir’s long-time crony Daim Zainuddin, who served as finance minister from 14 July 1984 to 15 March 1991, for having aided and abetted Nor Mohamed by leaving BNM “to its own devices”.

Let us ask the very man whose perseverance has finally paid off:

This ought to be the reaction to the RCI findings if we are to ask Lim Kit Siang

Yes. The loss of RM31.5 billion through forex gambling was and still is a crime against the Malaysian people.  And if it weren’t for Lim Kit Siang’s persistence and perseverance, we would not have gotten where we are now.

Three people have been found principally liable for the criminal breach of trust and should be probed further over their involvement and liability.  They are the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, his then-Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim, and ex-BNM advisor Nor Mohamed Yackop.

The commission found in its 524-paged report that the Cabinet in the 1990s was not given the full picture by Anwar on the forex losses, adding that he had “deliberately concealed facts and information and made misleading statements“. It is also of the opinion that the then Prime Minister (Mahathir) had condoned the actions of the Finance Minister.

The RM31.5 billion losses, the report said, were hidden using “unconventional accounting treatments”, such as booking losses to reserves in the balance sheet and the absorption of the remaining losses by the transfer of shares from the Government to BNM as well as the creation of a “Deferred Expenditure” to be repaid in instalments over a decade.

The RCI noted that Anwar Ibrahim, the then Finance Minister, had been informed about the actual forex losses suffered by BNM. It also said that Mahathir was informed by Anwar together with then Treasury deputy secretary-general Tan Sri Clifford Francis Herbert in late 1993 that BNM had suffered estimated losses of RM30 billion on the forex dealings for 1992 and 1993.

However, in the extract of minutes from three Cabinet meetings on March 30, April 6 and 13 in 1994, Anwar had made “no mention of the actual losses of RM12.3 billion for 1992 and RM15.3 billion for 1993.”

Anwar had chaired the March 30 meeting as the deputy prime minister. The losses for 1993 were reported as RM 5.7 billion.

The RCI also noted that the prime minister, who chaired the meeting on April 6, did not correct or offer more information when the forex losses for 1993 were recorded as only RM5.7 billion.

The RCI report said as pointed out by Herbert, he had expected Mahathir to be outraged but his reaction was quite normal with him uttering “sometimes we make profit, sometimes we make losses”.

His reaction to and acceptance of the huge forex losses suggest that he could have been aware of the forex dealings and its magnitude,” said the report.

Why Did It Take So Long?

Of course supporters of Mahathir got their knickers in a knot over the RCI findings, mostly harp on the duration it took to have a RCI formed, whether it was formed to time itself with the looming general elections so that the Pakatan Harapan would be epitome of broken hopes?

Lim Kit Siang may have harped on the matter, trying to get an RCI formed since 1994, if not earlier.  Mahathir was the Prime Minister then until the end of 2003.  No one during Pak Lah’s time took up the issue as Mahathir was then breathing down Pak Lah’s neck watching the latter’s every move.  In the end, Mahathir got Pak Lah ousted for not playing his game his way.

When Najib Razak took over at the beginning of the second quarter of 2009, Malaysia’s economy had shrunk even though oil price was high.  The GDP growth rate for Malaysia in 2009 was -2.5 percent because of the global financial crisis then, hence Najib Razak’s priority then was to safeguard the economy and take measures to improve on the GDP growth.

Malaysia’s GDP growth rate for 2009 was -2.5%

And ever since then Najib had been fighting on all fronts to make sure that Malaysia goes through a sustainable growth, and that there would be enough government money to still help the people, especially those from the B40 income group.  Hence, we see various initiatives like the 1Malaysia Clinic, Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (which is now being revamped), BR1M, PR1MA and various other 1Malaysia initiatives.

And while all that was happening, Lim Kit Siang was still going around asking for an RCI to be formed for the BNM forex scandal.  In the run up to the 13th General Elections, Lim Kit Siang wrote this on the BNM forex scandal:

“I had estimated in Parliament two decades ago that Bank Negara lost a colossal RM30 billion from the Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal under Mahathir’s premiership. But Bank Negara claimed RM10.1 billion loss in 1992 and RM5.7 billion in 1993 while former Bank Negara Deputy Governor Dr. Rosli Yaakop estimated last year at a public forum that Bank Negara lost between USD27 to USD33 billion, which was five times more than its foreign reserves and its entire assets of USD20.7 billion in 1992.”

You can read more on what Dr Rosli Yaakop had said on the BNM forex scandal  HERE.

Lim Kit Siang also said that Malaysian voters should not only pass a verdict on Najib’s non-transformation in the past four years, but also pass judgment on Mahathir’s 22 years of authoritarian and corrupt policies when he was Prime Minister from 1981 – 2003.  He said:

“I am on public record as saying that if Pakatan Rakyat is to capture Putrajaya in the 13GE, we should re-open investigation not only on the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex scandal of 1992, there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM100 billion losses suffered by the country in the financial scandals of the 22-year Mahathir era.”

Kit Siang added that the voters should decide whether they endorse the proposal to have a wide-ranging public inquiry into Mahathir’s financial scandals in 22 years which have cost the country RM100 billion of losses and for which the present generation of Malaysians are still paying the price – although there is totally no accountability and transparency about these glaring instances of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power for more than three decades.

He said all that HERE.  And we should not forget that Lim Kit Siang also wrote a book on the BNM forex scandal.

And finally, and only when the economic outlook had improved, did Najib Razak announced that an RCI would be formed to investigate the BNM forex scandal.

In June 2017, Lim Kit Siang even wanted the report recommending the RCI to be made public.  Finally, on 8 August 2017, the RCI commenced, and Kit Siang’s 25 years of wait ended.

Kit Siang’s hard work finally paid off

And one other Pakatan leader who had been lying very low beneath the BNM forex scandal radar is Anwar Ibrahim.  If anyone was to ask why did the government not do anything between 2004 and 2017, the answer would be why hadn’t Anwar, since 2 September 1998, asked for an RCI on the matter? Was he afraid that he might get implicated?

You and I know the answer to that now.

And what about the 1MDB scandal? Well, unlike the BNM forex scandal, the 1MDB case was investigated by the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, the Royal Malaysian Police, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.  Police reports were also made against 1MDB. But not a single sen had gone missing!

For the BNM forex scandal, this is the first time that it has been investigated – by the RCI, and soon by the Royal Malaysian Police.  And the first police report was made by a member of the RCI itself after the RCI findings report was published – 25 years after the whole thing happened.

So, we should all say our thank you to Lim Kit Siang for exposing this crime against ALL Malaysians. Thank you, Lim Kit Siang – for persistently asking for your good friends to be investigated.