Frankly Speaking: A deafening silence

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 26, 2018 - December 02, 2018.
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Last week, The Edge emailed questions on Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) to Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Mohamed Azmin Ali but did not get a reply. From what we understand, BPMB is, or will soon, be coming under his ministry after being transferred out of the Ministry of Finance as part of a reshuffling of portfolios.

Before that, The Edge had sent questions to Bank Negara Malaysia, BPMB and its recently appointed external public relations outfit, but did not receive any reply either.

Among other things, we asked why the board and other committees met 124 times last year,  why former president and CEO Shahar Zainuddin left after a mere nine months or so at the development financial institution (DFI), why certain loans were approved and what BPMB’s plans were for those loans.

Typically, financial institutions respond swiftly to stories that may cast them in a bad light, but BPMB has been silent for many weeks now. It has not come out to clarify, confirm or deny the problems highlighted.

Shahar may have no longer be with the DFI, but it now has acting president and CEO Afidah Mohd Ghazali, who is also the chief financial officer, and chief operating officer Razali Hassan at the helm.

And why is the central bank keeping mum about the issues at BPMB?  When will the ministry, Bank Negara and BPMB clarify matters and start addressing whatever problems there may be at the DFI?

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