Commentary 2016/11, 27 April 2016.
The appointment of Muhammad Ibrahim as successor to Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz as Bank Negara Malaysia’s governor should be widely welcomed. Fear in the financial sector in recent months that the highly respected Zeti, who had served for 16 years as national bank governor may be replaced by a political appointee is allayed by the fact that Prime Minister Najib Razak has chosen a professional banker instead, who had been Zeti’s deputy for the last five years. This move will minimize the transitional hiccups.
At a time when the economy is under stress, the markets are jittery over the opaque status of 1MDB finances, and the government is under attack from different directions domestically and internationally, most other options would have weakened Malaysia’s battered international standing further.
Dr Ooi Kee Beng is Deputy Director, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.
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