(From AFP)

Malaysia’s scandal-plagued prime minister on Wednesday appointed a new central bank governor, who will take over from respected long-time chief Zeti Akhtar Aziz amid a contentious financial scandal.

Najib Razak
Najib Razak

Prime Minister Najib Razak released a statement saying Bank Negara Malaysia’s deputy governor Muhammad Ibrahim would take over from May 1.

Najib faces allegations that billions were stolen from state-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he oversees, and his acceptance of a mysterious $681 million payment. Both Najib and 1MDB have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Zeti is respected for her steady hand during 16 years in office and is widely seen to be at odds with Najib over the allegations.

She had announced last year as the scandals escalated that she would retire when her latest five-year term expired at the end of April.

The Harvard-educated Muhammad, 56, was appointed deputy governor in 2010. He has served with the central bank since 1984.

The appointment of a career central bank official is likely to reassure markets amid worries about the transition. Read More

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