Everyone wants to move on from 1MDB, Zeti tells CNBC

Malaysians are hoping to close the chapter on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy as it would finally put the country on the road to economic recovery, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz told CNBC.

In an interview with the US-based business channel, Zeti said the central bank has done its part, having completed its investigation on 1MDB and taking action, but added that it was not the only authority scrutinising the firm’s activities.

“There are others,” Zeti said, according to a four-minute clip of the interviewed uploaded on CNBC’s website.

“So it is ongoing and everyone wants a conclusion to it so we can just move on and so that the currency will better reflect our fundamentals and we can deal with the other economic issues that the country is being confronted with,” she added.

Zeti was responding to a question on how much damage the 1MDB controversy has inflicted on Malaysia, the country’s next manoeuvre in riding out the crisis and whether there was any way to resolve it.

Earlier during the interview, she also spoke of the challenges facing Bank Negara and the Malaysian economy, listing among others, the collapse of oil prices, new political developments here and market conditions in China.

Zeti made a similar assertion about 1MDB last year in September, telling a panel discussion at the Economic Update 2015 event that Malaysia’s economic recovery will hinge on a speedy resolution of the issue surrounding the state investment firm and questions over the RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank accounts.

She told the discussion then that this must come in tandem with the decision by the US Federal Reserve to raise US interest rates, a recovery in global energy prices and improvements to market conditions in China.

Zeti added that the public the public have every right to get answers on 1MDB — which reportedly racked up debts amounting to RM42 billion — and the donation purportedly from the Middle East, in the interest of greater transparency in governance.

1MDB later disputed the bank governor’s remarks and denied that its activities had caused the ringgit’s depreciation.

The state-owned firm last month completed a three-step rationalisation plan that included an asset-for-debt swap with an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, the sale of its Edra Global Energy unit, and the disposal of a 60-per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia to a Chinese-Johor consortium.

Source – http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/everyone-wants-to-move-on-from-1mdb-zeti-tells-cnbc#sthash.XxkcMOBt.dpuf

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