PUTRAJAYA: Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who two weeks ago said he took full responsibility for the forex losses at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) about 25 years ago, has resigned as deputy chairman of Khazanah Nasional.
In a statement posted on its website, Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is Khazanah chairman, thanked Nor Mohamed for his contribution to the sovereign wealth fund, particularly his work on the 10-year transformation programme for government-linked companies (GLC), led by the Putrajaya Committee on GLC High Performance.
“The board of directors accepts his decision and we wish him well,” Najib was quoted as saying in the statement.
His resignation will take effect from Sept 30.
Nor Mohamed, 70, served on the Khazanah Board of directors for 15 years, being the longest-serving board member and the only deputy chairman in Khazanah’s 23-year history.
On Aug 6, Nor Mohamed, who is a former BNM assistant governor, told a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) that there was no denying that forex losses occurred or that he was accountable for it.
“There is also no denying my accountability for the forex losses. I accepted my fair share of the responsibility and resigned from BNM,” he said.
Nor Mohamed said at the time that it appeared to him to be a sad end “to my 25 years of service to the nation, through BNM”.
“However, with the grace of Allah SWT, I was given the opportunity in 1997/1998 to contribute to king and country during the financial crisis.”
He said the experience in the forex unit at BNM during those years proved extremely useful later on in saving Malaysia from the devastating effects of the 1997/98 financial crisis.
Nor Mohamed is credited with having advised Mahathir to peg the ringgit at RM3.80 to one US dollar to prevent further speculation on the local currency.
He also told the five-man tribunal that he did not discuss the forex losses with then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and two finance ministers during the period of 1986 and 1993.
The forex losses, said to be in the region of RM30.5 billion, took place when Mahathir was PM.
The RCI was set up by the government to investigate the cause of the forex losses and identify those responsible for it. The opposition however has claimed the formation of the RCI was politically motivated.
Due to the forex losses, Nor Mohamed resigned from the BNM in 1994, together with then BNM governor Jaffar Hussein.
He returned to BNM in 1998 and served until April 2000, and also became economic adviser to the government (May 2000 to December 2003) and served as a minister (2004 to 2013).