Malaysia is lucky this guy is not Bank Negara Governor

Malaysia is lucky this guy is not Bank Negara Governor

Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah today accused Wall Street Journal of falsely claiming that he was offered the post of Bank Negara Malaysia Governor. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Enough of Mamaks with top jobs in Malaysia

Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah today denied he was offered the post of Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, accusing US-based Wall Street Journal of falsely claiming he would head the central bank.

The Treasury Secretary-General’s remarks came after the Prime Minister’s press secretary Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad similarly accused the newspaper of “lying” in its reports that claimed Irwan had been chosen to succeed Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

“I was never offered the post of Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, as the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report have repeatedly claimed. His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong never signed my appointment as Governor, as is alleged.

“These are outright lies with absolutely no basis. These foreign media should stop their attacks on Malaysia,” Irwan said in a statement today. Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim was yesterday named as the replacement for the retiring Zeti, who is leaving after 16 years at the head of BNM.

He was the Deputy Governor up until his appointment, and his selection was consistent with Zeti’s call for her successor to be someone with a financial and banking background instead of a politician.

WSJ previously reported based on anonymous sources that Irwan, who is Treasury Secretary-General, would be made the next BNM governor.

The newspaper today responded to allegations that its reporting was based on uncorroborated details from anonymous sources and Tengku Sarifuddin’s claim that it was being used as tool to depose Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“We stand behind our fair and accurate reporting of this evolving story which has in no way been undermined by recent events, and remain committed to providing robust coverage of events in Malaysia,” a Dow Jones spokesman told Malay Mail Online.

Dow Jones is the publisher of the WSJ. The US paper has reported extensively on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) since last year and was the first to reveal the RM2.6 billion deposited in Najib’s accounts prior to Election 2013.

8 thoughts on “Malaysia is lucky this guy is not Bank Negara Governor

  1. How much immense effort Najib and his PR folk have to put into scoring such trivial points!

    There is a reason this appointment was delayed to the 59th minute of the 11th hour in the middle of a major financial crisis, which was that the Agong had signed off the 1MDB Advisory Board member Irwan Serigar Abdullah and was entitled to refuse to change his position.

    Once the WSJ had pre-empted the scandalous appointment it took all Najib’s energy to get the nomination changed by a rightly angry Agong – just so he could point-score that the WSJ had been ‘proved wrong’.

    Insiders in Putrajaya have been laughing at the matter for weeks and the desperate PM has achieved nothing from the stunt, which like the earlier Saudi minister event, is like tossing pins at a rolling tank of justice that is bearing down upon their heads.


  2. I am more inclined to believe the Wall Street Journal report. It is likely the advanced negative report made the government to rethink their plans. But for now it will be interesting to see how Mohamed Ibrahim will perform in the top job. As for Tan Sri Zeti, in the end her failure to speak up on the issues relating to PM Najib have damaged her image internationally.

  3. I think they floated Serigar name and found no positive sentiment, They could not also get Awang Adek back who has been in diplomacy work, likely finance now eludes him. They went back to original plan get a Banker within the system and hope it does not collapse. Otherwise it would be a Serigar at the top and it would have been interesting – monetary policy would have eluded this guy

  4. Still no lawsuits against the WSJ for publishing “lies” ?

    1Malaysians have a high tolerance for libel indeed.

  5. WSJ made a prediction which turned out to be incorrect. It was not a lie. It would be a lie if what WSJ reported about past actions of Najib could be proved to be false. So far this has not happen.

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