Mahathir files suit to declare report on 1990s forex losses as null and void

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was found to have been involved in Bank Negara Malaysia's forex losses totalling RM31.5 billion (S$10.39 billion).
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was found to have been involved in Bank Negara Malaysia's forex losses totalling RM31.5 billion (S$10.39 billion).PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad filed a suit on Tuesday (Dec 19) seeking to declare a report by a government-backed inquiry into foreign exchange losses when he was leading the country as null and void.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Nov 30 tabled to Parliament its recommendations about the losses at Malaysia's central bank in the 1990s.

The RCI recommended that Tun Dr Mahathir and jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was finance minister, should be investigated for criminal breach of trust offences.

The commission found that Dr Mahathir, Malaysia's prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and Anwar, who was finance minister from 1991 to 1998, were involved in Bank Negara Malaysia's forex losses totalling RM31.5 billion (S$10.39 billion).

Both men are now leaders in Malaysia's opposition alliance. They have claimed that the inquiry is politically motivated to divert attention from a financial scandal linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd revolving around Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Dr Mahathir on Tuesday, in a six-page originating summons, claimed the RCI report was illegal, incomplete and defective as it lacked proceeding notes, written and oral submissions through transcription or video recording.

The suit also sought to declare any report by the RCI would only be legal and in order if it has all the written statements by the witnesses who testified in the proceeding, the proceeding notes, the submissions, and the findings.

Both Dr Mahathir and Anwar had testified during hearings held by the RCI.