PUTRAJAYA: Tun Daim Zainuddin told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) that he was unaware of losses of RM772.3mil in 1988 and RM2.259bil in 1989 suffered by the central bank due to forex trading.
Apart from the losses, Daim, who was finance minister between 1984 and 1991, claimed he did not know about Bank Negara's RM2.473bil profit in 1990 from forex trading.
He claimed this was the first time he knew about the profit and losses after he was shown the information from a document titled 'Accounting Treatment of Losses Arising from Active Reserve Management 1988 - 1994' dated April 18, 2007.
"I did not know that Bank Negara was actively involved in forex trading starting 1988 and the trading amount was significant," he said reading from a written statement.
Daim claimed he did not know who was responsible for forex trading at the central bank between 1984 and 1991 during his tenure as finance minister.
"Nobody from Bank Negara informed or briefed me about forex trading done by the bank. I do not know nor was I informed about the losses by the bank due to forex trading in 1988 and 1989," he added.
Daim said the former governor, the late Tan Sri Jaffar Hussin, also never conducted any discussions with him on forex trading.
"Therefore, I never discussed with the then-prime minister about forex trading," he said.
Daim's answers, which often claimed lack of knowledge on his part, invited a barrage of questions from the RCI panel members.
RCI panel chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan said he found it incredible that the bank did not inform the former Finance Minister on important matters.
"As a minister in charge of finance, it was obligatory on your part. The bank comes under your responsibility," Sidek said.
Daim, however, maintained that it was the bank's role to inform him.
"They must inform me. We have other things to do. They should be responsible enough to keep me informed. We chose the best of our people to head these agencies," he said.
The public proceeding was chaired by Mohd Sidek who is also Petronas chairman assisted by High Court Judge Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH) co-chairman Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon and Malaysian Institute of Accountants member K. Puspanathan.
Did you find this article insightful?