Friday, March 11, 2016

Heed Bank Negara’s advice on Zeti’s successor, PAS tells Putrajaya

Putrajaya should heed Bank Negara Malaysia's advice on who will replace Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz as the central bank's governor, PAS said today, after it was reported that the Treasury secretary-general may be appointed to the post. PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it was vital that Bank Negara remained free from political interference, and not face the same fate as the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the Malaysian Anti Corruption-Commission (MACC). "The government is advised to appoint a new Bank Negara governor in line with what has been recommended by Bank Negara," said Tuan Ibrahim in a statement. "Bank Negara and Tan Seri Zeti Akhtar Aziz would surely know who is more qualified to replace her in terms of qualifications, intelligence, abilities, and especially someone who is free from politics and brave enough to fight political interference in BNM." The Wall Street Journal reported today that Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah's appointment comes despite the central bank's efforts to name an internal candidate.  The American financial daily, quoting sources, said Putrajaya would name Irwan, secretary-general of the Finance Ministry, as the new head of Bank Negara next week. Zeti, who's term ends in April, said yesterday the central bank has submitted the name of her successor. PAS also urged Bank Negara and the government to reveal the name of its candidate, to allay fears from the public that there was political interference in the appointment. "Those involved in politics and have served in Datuk Seri Najib Razak's Cabinet should not be appointed the new Bank Negara governor because it would jeapordise Bank Negara's integrity and good name. "The public is still waiting for the prime minister's guarantee that Bank Negara will be free from political interference. This guarantee is important to boost foreign investor confidence and defend Bank Negara's integrity," said Tuan Ibrahim. Irwan joined the Finance Ministry in 2003 and is a member of Bank Negara's board. WSJ said if Irwan was appointed, it "might be a blow to Zeti's (lobbying) efforts" to fill the post with an internal candidate. During the final year of Zeti's tenure, she has had to grapple with a shrinking ringgit and the fallout from the corruption scandal surrounding state investor, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Najib is finance minister and chairman of 1MDB's advisory board while Irwan also sits on the board. – March 12, 2016.]]>

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