KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 – Outgoing Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, took time off from her long meeting to greet the media on her second last day as the country’s seventh and first woman governor. At 7.35 pm, Zeti, who was clad in her famous royal blue baju kurung, was smiling and graciously addressed the media for five minutes at the central bank.
She said she is still packing her office, 16 tahun punya barang. Asked how she felt, Zeti, in a broken voice, said: “I am very focussed. I’ll just do whatever I have to do. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to meet all my staff and ‘salam’ each one of them and thank them for their support.”
Zeti, who steps down on April 30, was named as one of the world’s best central bank chiefs by Global Finance magazine in 2009. The daughter of Royal Professor Ungku Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid and the late cultural activist (tokoh budaya) Sharifah Azah Mohamed Alsagoff, joined BNM in 1985 as Deputy Manager in Economics Department.
She was promoted as Governor in 2000 succeeding the late Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan Suleiman, making Zeti as the first woman in the position. Prior to that, Zeti had a brief stint with Pusat Penyelidikan dan Latihan Seacern as Economic Researcher between 1979 and 1984. Zeti will be succeeded by Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim on May 1.