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(From New Straits Times (Malaysia))
BANK Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz last week indicated that the Malaysian economy strengthened in the third quarter with the Gross Domestic Product growing at 5.1 per cent.
The announcement by Zeti was something expected of a Bank Negara Governor, though towards the later part of his term as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made such announcements.
Dr Mahathir had, during the turbulent economic times in 1997-98, when George Soros, currency manipulators and others plundered many a nation, become the forebearer of economic news, announcing to the nation the economic figures instead of Bank Negara.
Perhaps the announcement by Zeti, besides the GDP figures, also gives an indication that the economy is back on track and moving ahead, and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is confident that the central bank does not need his personal and direct atttention.
Under the leadership of Abdullah, who has also taken over the Finance Ministry portfolio which oversees Bank Negara, we could be hearing more from Zeti, the first woman governor of Bank Negara.
Abdullah and his financial and economic teams would surely know that the reputation of Bank Negara is essential for it to act effectively as the main policy institution for the country's monetary and banking sector.
Besides the announcement last week that the nation's economy is healthy, Abdullah's action in allowing Bank Negara to be the forebearer of economic and …