Speech by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at a dinner of Bukit Mertajam DAP Branch leaders held at Bukit Mertajam on Sunday, April 18, 1993 at 8 p.m.
Whole country waiting for a Cabinet statement after its Wednesday meeting on the colossal RM 12.8 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange losses
The whole country is waiting for a Cabinet statement after its Wednesday meeting on the colossal RM 12.8 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange losses.
Last night, at the DAP Teluk Intan anniversary dinner, I had asked the Bank Negara to clarify and confirm that it had in fact incurred the colossal losses of RM 12 billion from its currency trading and foreign exchange speculation and not just the earlier figure of RM 9.3 billion that was mentioned earlier – when account is also taken of the losses that had not been booked in the 1992 Bank Negara Annual Report but which would be carried into account this year.
In actual fact, it has been reported that the total losses suffered by Bank Negara from currency trading and foreign exchange speculation could be as high as RM $12.8 billion – which will be equivalent to more than a quarter of the value of Bank Negara’s total gold and foreign exchange reserves.
The people and country must taken a very serious view of the RM 12.8 billion foreign exchange scandal of Bank Negara, for it is singly the biggest scandal in Malaysian banking and financial history – five times the RM 2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysian Finance scandal a decade ago.
The RM 12.8 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange losses equivalent to more than six years of the Penang State Government’s annual operating and development budget
The RM 12.8 billion could have been put to better uses than to be lost by Bank Negara as a result of currency trading and foreign exchange speculation.
It is, for instance, equivalent to more than six years of the Penang State Government’s annual budgets – covering both operating and development expenditures. Penang’s total operating and development budgets for this year for instance are less than RM 200 million – comprising RM 132 million for operating expenditures and RM 67 million for development expenditures.
With RM 12.8 billion, Penang would have been able to fully develop her socio-economic potentials by creating the long-neglected infrastructures which had caused the long-standing problems like traffic congestion, flooding and power failures, establish another two fully-fledged universities as well as supporting polytechnics, and make the state an even greater attraction for industries and tourists.