BNM to continue operating as an independent body: Guan Eng

PUTRAJAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will continue to operate as an independent body according to the rules set out in the legislation, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

"This is a government that operates under the rule of law. We will respect the present role as outlined under the present laws," he said.

Lim said this when asked whether BNM would now come under the purview of the Finance Ministry, given that the announcement on the new Governor was made by him, or would remain as an independent body.

"I am just making the announcement (of the appointment). The announcement can be made in a press statement or at a press conference. So, (by having a press conference) we are (also) letting everyone see the new BNM Governor in person," he said after announcing the appointment here today.

"The announcement is made following several earlier news reports…. It seems there have been many news leaks, which is why we are making the announcement this afternoon.

Nor Shamsiah's appointment is for a term of five years effective from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2023.

She takes over from Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, who resigned earlier this month before completing his five-year term after questions were raised on a RM2 billion land purchase deal between the central bank and the Finance Ministry. Muhammad was appointed in May 2016.

Lim said Nor Shamsiah was appointed as she was a capable woman who inspired confidence at the international level.

Meanwhile, Nor Shamsiah thanked the Prime Minister and the government for the opportunity to serve the nation.

"It is with an utmost sense of honour and responsibility that I accept this appointment. I will endeavour to carry out the duties of the Governor of BNM to the best of my ability together with the present team.

"BNM will continue to focus on delivering its mandate of maintaining monetary and financial stability in the best interest of the nation," she said.

Asked on her priority as the new Governor, Nor Shamsiah said it was too early to tell as she had been "away" from BNM for nearly two years.

"I will need to go back and discuss with the staff on the current situation and what would be the priorities moving forward," she added. — Bernama