The official versions of BNM forex losses by government during the hey days of Tun Dr Mahathir was less than RM10 million.
However, the government position changed from not true, to only paper loss, and finally Raja Petra raised the point that the then Prime Minister and Minister of Finance lied to the public, Parliament, and cabinet.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah used to claim the losses could be at least RM16 billion derived from the negative capital position of BNM. Dato Murad have been talking of US$10 billion. The exchange rate then would mean it could range from RM30 to RM40 billion.
The Mole columnist, Salahuddin bin Hisham, who debunked the current claim on the slide of ringgit, posed the question: Did BNM forex wipe out the country’s reserve? The foreign reserve then was less than RM100 billion, thus the losses could be in that ball park.
Now, Raja Petra's posting over the weekend here is more alarming:
The real losses were more than US$13 billion or RM130 billion at today’s value. The monthly turnover was RM700 billion, while the total forward position was US$150 billion.This blog initially believed that the mess was done by Tan Sri Mohamed Nor Yakcop. Since Tun Dr Mahathir started attacking government, sources been coming out of the woodwork and pointing their fingers at him also.
And the Mole columnist believed it had something to do with:
... as a result of someone mesmerised to a new toy of program trading introduced to him and yearned to get even with the market for a major loss earlier for trying to corner a commodity market.RPK insisted Tun Daim Zainuddin was involved. We differ there.
Program trading is for trading in smaller amount and riding on trends. The way BNM was trading it was as if they were trying to be the Hunt Brothers that dominated the silver market at one time
Daim was then blamed for "firing" the successor to Tun Ismail Ali as BNM Governor, Tan Sri Aziz Taha. Sources from the woodwork claimed it was at Mahathir directive in response to a 30 or was it 13 pages of a critical letter to him.
Someone should get in touch with Aziz Taha. He is the only one still around among the many that wrote to Mahathir of their concern on the financial status and running of BNM then.
It will relate to the forex losses.
Not only did government lied on the real status of BNM financial position, presumably to save nation's face and preserve financial credibility of country, but there was a shabby cover-up to hide the true losses.
The Mole columnist wrote extensively in Mystery surrounds BNM forex loss and The cover-up of BNM's forex loss.
Everything To Hide
Though initially putting up a brave front as his lawyer, ANSARA Kulim Hanif Khatri said he will attend and Mahathir himself said bring it on. As the RCI nears, he had cold feet and applied to remove two members of the RCI. Court rejected Mahathir's application.
Hanif Khatri tried to seek the right to cross examine but was denied.
And we thought Mahathir confidently is a #Nothing To Hide 2.0. Looks like he has #Something To Hide
The Mole columnist believed Mahathir has #Everything To Hide. His view is the BNM forex loss was the single biggest bungle of Mahathir. It has a wide and deep impact on the nation, people and his legacy.
He does not want it to be known and his perceived "glorious" legacy destroyed.
The country might have been defenceless to attacks on the ringgit by hedge funds in 1997. Dr Mahathir conveniently made Soros a scapegoat to lay blame.Mahathir's minions tried to divert attention or do counter attack to spread words ringgit is declining in value.
The currency crisis led to a massive economic crisis and contributed to hardship to the rakyat and country for many years.
Big businesses failed and the banking industry had to be restructured to avert collapse.
There were corporate Bumiputera entrepreneurs developed by Dr Mahathir and Tun Daim Zainuddin to spearhead the development of a Bumiputera industrial and commercial community that crashed along.
That led to loss of jobs and wiped a significant portion of Bumiputera corporate wealth. Most of these corporate personalities could not return and bounce back.
However, there is more to the story as there was systematic dismantling of their empire and their assets sold to other Malaysian businessmen that possibly could be proxies.
For the common folk, it affected the downfall of financial sponsorship and droves of students abroad had to be recalled home.
There was widespread unemployment. Small businesses went belly up. Many became bankrupt.
There was a significant loss in the country’s wealth..
Perhaps, the short-term trend is bearish and on the long term, there is a looming threat of Singapore's launching of the ringgit future market.
It is a hedging mechanism to compliment or compete with the forward market. It offers a way to get around any action by BNM to tighten on the forward swap market in any crisis.
Nevertheless, Rgt @ 5.00? Try again, Soros. Or is it Mahathir?