Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Bank Negara head must be apolitical, says PAS

The new Bank Negara Malaysia governor must not be a politician or a Barisan Nasional member, especially when the 1Malaysia Development Berhad controversy still "echoes" around the world, says PAS. Its deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man today said such a person to replace Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was due to retire next month, must be rejected. He also said Zeti's contract as the central bank governor should also be extended if she was needed in the ongoing probe into 1MDB by the central bank, so the scandal could be resolved before she retires. "The central bank is still an institution believed by the people and free of political influence. "With the 1MDB crisis still ongoing, anyone who had served in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's cabinet and a member of any Barisan Nasional party must be rejected if nominated to be Bank Negara governor. "This is important to ensure the image and integrity of Bank Negara is preserved since Najib still refuses to sue The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)," he said in a statement. WSJ published stories surrounding 1MDB and international investigations into the scandal, linking Najib to the money trail since July last year when the business paper reported that investigators looking into the troubled state investment firm found Najib received RM2.6 billion in his personal accounts. The money deposited into his accounts shortly before the 2013 general election was later reported to be a donation from the Saudi royal family and RM2.03 billion of it was returned later the same year, as it was not used. Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said there was not enough evidence to implicate Najib. Tuan Ibrahim said people must not be distracted from the appointment of the new central bank governor. He said to ensure the people and the international community remained confident of Bank Negara, the new governor must be bold, strict, fair, capable and a person who stood by the truth when dealing within a challenging economy and issues like 1MDB. "Zeti had said before that the central bank must remain an independent body free of political influence. This must be taken seriously. Najib's government must not violate that independence. "But till now, the prime minister has not shown any sign that he agrees with Zeti on this matter. But the people are waiting for him to guarantee that Bank Negara will be free of political interventions. "This guarantee is very important to build investor confidence and protect the integrity of the central bank," he said. – March 9, 2016.]]>

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