Zeti gets glowing tribute from Barrons’Pesek

May 3, 2016

Zeti gets glowing tribute from Barrons’Pesek

 by FMT Reporters

It says smart, strong and charming Zeti Akhtar Aziz was “the glue that held Malaysia’s economy together amid failed reforms”.

None of these Task Force Professionals could stand up the Force behind Najib

Former Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz has received a glowing tribute from American financial magazine barrons.com, in which she was called “the glue that held Malaysia’s economy together amid failed reforms and scandals”.

The magazine’s executive editor, William Pesek, wrote: “Globally respected Zeti was a vocal thorn in the Prime Minister’s (Najib Razak) side, calling for investigations into a state-owned fund he oversaw.” This was in reference to Najib’s link to 1MDB, as well as the billions in donations found in the premier’s personal accounts.

“Najib didn’t fire Zeti; he waited out the end of her term (last Friday). It comforted many that Najib didn’t replace her with a crony or a cousin, but with one of her deputy governors.Still, Najib dragged the decision out until the very last moment – two days before Zeti left the building. But let’s pause for a different snapshot: how Malaysia just lost its most globally respected public official and the implications of her departure,” the article said.

Pesek, a self-professed “unabashed Zeti fan”, said the “smart, strong and charming” Zeti was the reassuring face of “an economy with a knack for bizarre international headlines”. He listed instances where Zeti was apparently there to “calm nerves”, held things together and pushed back when the administration tried to “pull the wool over (the eyes of) 30 million people”.

“It was nothing short of breathtaking to watch her make uncharacteristically blunt statements about funding irregularities Najib tried to sell as a foreign conspiracy to destablise Malaysia.When Zeti said the scandal (1MDB) was denting confidence, she was fighting for Malaysians, not the ruling party – a rarity in Kuala Lumpur.As many foreign central bank peers and investors told me over the years, it made the outside world feel better to know Zeti was at the top of the power pyramid,” Pesek wrote.

He raised the question whether Zeti’s replacement, the “Harvard-educated Muhammad Ibrahim”, would follow in her reformist footsteps.

“Perhaps he too will have the mettle to speak truth to powers, both internationally and domestically. All we can do is hope.”

Pesek then called Malaysia’s affirmative action policies benefiting the majority Malay population as “apartheid economy which kills innovation and productivity, and drives many of Malaysia’s best and brightest to Singapore and Hong Kong”.

“It turns off foreign executives, investing in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam instead.”

Zeti was also commended for taking a technocratic, rather than a blusterous approach, when the ringgit was falling and she was thrust to the limelight.

Pesek queried how anyone else but Zeti, especially someone beholden to Najib and his inner circle, would have fared in the last 10 months, as questions swirled around 1MDB.

Muhammad may be as “liberated and feisty” as Zeti during his stint, but there’s ample reason to worry as his every word, deed and gesture will be scrutinised for any signs of sympathy for Najib’s government, Pesek wrote.

Zeti’s departure isn’t a pretty picture for investors hoping for a more transparent and vibrant Malaysia, Pesek concluded.


6 thoughts on “Zeti gets glowing tribute from Barrons’Pesek

  1. ‘Smart, strong and charming’ she could well be, but that does not really cut the mustard for ordinary Malaysians who expected very much more from our Bank Governor. Especially one who was much loved too. On the other hand the lady had to deal with that devious scoundrel in Putrajaya so I am not judging her too harshly. Rather I hope that G 25 and all their supporters will take this opportunity to speak loudly about the treatment she received. And more importantly take a stand against UMNO and their leaders. And stop being so concerned about the perks they continue to receive from the governments. That is just crumbs to what Najib and his gang are reaping. Failure to do so will ensure that the new man at Bank Negara will have an endless nightmare in his job.

  2. 60% of this is true. Pesek is “over the top” in his praise of Zeti. The other 40% is Zeti’s fear and concern to speak out, for after all, Malaysia is now a country where, under Najib, you can be arrested for speaking the truth.

  3. If the jantans helming the country’s institutions like the IGP and AG cower and scrape the ground even when the likes of Rosmah and Najib are not looking, we should at least credit Zeti with showing a bit of backbone and standing up to some basic principles. She did try to stem some of the sewage produced by the thieves in Putrajaya, but surrounded by cari-makan scum there was little else she could do. She could easily have done a Zahid, Azlina, Sharizat type of show and kiss the buttocks of Najib and be part of the looting crowd.

    Instead she presented some semblance of professionalism in a place where liars and thieves rule the roost.That could be the reason for the praise she has received from international circles.

  4. All Zeti could do was just ring the bell but the gravy train 1MDB continues on its merry way and picking up more passengers along the way, Ministers, AG, IGP, Deputy Ministers and other UMNOb wannabes. Zeti is a central banker not Wonder Woman.

  5. From the public behavior of BNM / Zeti, can we all be blamed for having the impression that very, very special treatment was given to 1MDB?

    Does anyone think that if Najib was not behind 1MDB, billions could slosh in and out of the country with the greatest of ease?

    And if there was no loud angry public outcry, would BNM under Zeti ask 1MDB, (and even then in a meek, polite tone), to bring home those billions and imposed a fine when it failed?

    BTW, a fine, (no matter how huge), paid out from the people’s money is not a “fine” It’s the top officials, BOD of 1MDB that should be personally fined for it to be meaningful. This would have happened if 1MDB is an ordinary company, but then again an ordinary company would not have been allowed so much leeway in the first place.

    Professionalism? Get real please.

  6. As a Central Banker, she has no principle (principal), but plenty of interests. Instead of biting the bullet, there is a bullet payment for her on retirement if she bites her lips and says nothing. Cash is queen.

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