Malaysian central bank chief slated for public appearance

Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz is to chair a press conference tomorrow to announce second-quarter gross domestic product figures.
Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz is to chair a press conference tomorrow to announce second-quarter gross domestic product figures.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Malaysia's central bank governor, will make her first public appearance tomorrow after coming under siege over a special task force's investigation into money deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal accounts.

Bank Negara was part of the Special Task Force - which also comprised the police, the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) - formed to look into sums totalling US$700 million (S$970 million) that were transferred into Datuk Seri Najib Razak's bank accounts two months before the 2013 general election.

But investigations by the high-level task force have not been smooth.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail was replaced by Mr Najib on July 28 for "health reasons", while seven MACC officers have so far been picked up by police over an alleged leak of information in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) probe.

MACC last week declared that the deposits in Mr Najib's accounts were donations from unnamed Middle-Eastern sources, and not from troubled state investor 1MDB, which was being investigated for illegal money transfers.

It also suggested that the Special Task Force was disbanded.

Dr Zeti, a well-respected figure in the financial community, is slated to chair a press conference tomorrow at the Bank Negara headquarters to announce second-quarter gross domestic product figures, the Malaysiakini news site reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Malaysian central bank chief slated for public appearance'. Print Edition | Subscribe