KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang should support the government’s efforts in setting up a Special Task Force (STF) to probe the losses suffered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) due to foreign exchange trading in the 1990s.
In a statement today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman said this is because Lim had been very vocal in the Dewan Rakyat on the issue at the time, putting forth various motions, including suggesting the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), to probe the losses.
“Hence, this is Lim’s best chance to show that the motion on this issue, brought up in 1993 and 1994 in the Dewan Rakyat, (has merit).
“He should come forward to assist the STF in scrutinising all the related facts. Or did he mislead the Dewan then?
“Lim, as an experienced parliamentarian, should support the government’s efforts and not politicise this issue,” she said.
Lim’s fickle-mindedness in his stance and principles, Azalina said, showed his inconsistency, and DAP supporters, she noted, should evaluate this.
She stated that the Cabinet’s decision to set up the STF proves that the government is always open on all matters concerning national interest.
“The government will hold to the principle of using the rule of law in investigating anything, to ensure that there is no abuse and misappropriation in the governing of the country.
“The Barisan Nasional (BN) government also subscribes to the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
“Hence, the STF will scrutinise and evaluate the matter based on statements, before any action is decided upon,” Azalina added.
In a blog post yesterday, Lim said that Cabinet Ministers were guilty of colossal negligence and irresponsibility of the first degree, as they could have set up an STF to conduct a probe into the central bank’s forex losses more than two decades ago – but dared not breathe a word on “the monstrous 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal”.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said the STF will be made up of representatives of various government agencies, including highly-respected individuals who are experts in certain fields.
“This task force will make recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the Cabinet in the near future for follow-up action, including the setting-up of an RCI if needed, based on the outcome of the probe,” the statement said.
It added that the government’s move shows its commitment and transparency to ensure that BNM’s dealings at the time followed guidelines on good governance.-nst