KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan leaders have maintained silence over the battle of words between Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) foreign reserve losses between 2013 and 2016.
On Tuesday (Dec 26), Johari had penned an open letter to Dr Mahathir, saying that the US$39.6bil (RM160bil) allegedly lost from BNM's international reserves was due to the outflow of foreign funds, not losses stemming from foreign exchange (forex) trading.
This was in response to Dr Mahathir's open letter to Johari on Christmas Eve (Dec 24), which claimed that this loss was bigger than the RM31.5bil loss during his time that was the focus of a recent Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI).
DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, when contacted by The Star for a comment over the issue, merely replied "no" over WhatsApp.
DAP's Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, also declined to comment as he hasn't read the content of Johari's open letter yet.
"I'm on holiday and I haven't read the letter yet. So, I won't comment."
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok claimed that she had not read the news about Johari's letter and was in no position to comment.
At the same time, The Star's attempts to contact DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli were futile.
In Johari's open letter, the Umno minister also said that the Malaysian economy, particularly the international reserve is more stable and is growing steadily, compared to Dr Mahathir's tenure as premier.
"BNM and the country have since come a long way, particularly in instituting the necessary reforms and check and balance with regards to its foreign exchange forward transaction activities," he said.
"In fact, our international reserves continues to strengthen ever since and as at end of November 2017, the reserves amounted to US$101.9bil (RM415.5bil) and were able to support 7.5 months of retained imports," he added.
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Deputy Director Datuk Eric See-To had also rubbished Dr Mahathir's allegations saying that losses arising from "illegal" gambling when he was Prime Minister cannot be compared with reduction in foreign exchange arising from BNM conducting its duties.
See-To had also pointed out that BNM had made substantial profits for each of year of the 2013 to 2016 period instead of losses like in the 1990s.
He had also questioned why no other Pakatan leaders have backed-up Dr Mahathir's allegations of RM160bil losses despite the claim being two weeks old.
Did you find this article insightful?