‘RCI May Not Have Legal Powers, But Its Finding Carry Weight’

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PUTRAJAYA: The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), tasked worth probing Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) foreign exchange (forex) losses in the 1990s, may not carry legal powers, but its findings do carry weight.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in saying this today, added that the RCI had recommended investigations to be carried out against certain individuals and the police would carry out its probe.

“The police, especially its Commercial Crimes Investigation Division, will conduct its investigation into the case.

“They will look into the case under relevant laws including the Penal Code as suggested by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), involving several personalities named (in the RCI report),” he said after performing Friday prayers today.

With him were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

RCI secretary Datuk Dr Yusof Ismail, who is the Finance Ministry Strategic Investment Division director, had lodged a report at the Putrajaya police headquarters on Thursday.

The police report stated that those involved in the alleged wrongdoings were BNM officers, BNM board members, the National Audit Department, the Finance Ministry and the prime minister who served during the period.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was quoted as saying on Thursday that the police have set up a task force to investigate the case.

On whether those named in the RCI would be called up by the police, Zahid merely replied: “As per what the Inspector-General of Police has said.”

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Fuzi was reported as saying that the police would call up those involved when there is a need to do so.

The RCI, in its 524-page report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, stated that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was then the finance minister, had misled the government and concealed the actual losses suffered by BNM.

The RCI also said then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had approved Anwar’s “misleading statements”.

The commission said the losses were far bigger than initially reported by BNM, RM31.5 billion as against RM5.7 billion, over a period of three years.

Earlier, Zahid launched the Planet Ummah Carnival 2017 organised by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim). The four-day carnival, which began on Thursday, is expected to draw about 70,000 visitors through various activities held at the Putra Mosque Square.

The deputy prime minister also launched the Syria Care Donation Fund programme to collect money to help the Syrians during winter time. Zahid was seen making a personal donation, without disclosing the amount.

He then launched the “Etikaf 3 Masjid Utama” application which could be downloaded for free by the public who wish to know the activities lined up held at three mosques – the National Mosque, Putra Mosque and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque.

Zahid also witnessed the handing over of tithe worth about RM500,000 from QSR Brands to the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council’s Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ-MAIWP).

– NST

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