Malaysia's second half growth much stronger, says Zeti


By HASNI MOHD NASIR

THE economy expanded stronger than expected in the second quarter, thanks in part to the RM7.3bil stimulus package launched by the government, said Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. 

“Yes, the economic performance has been better than expected, and our underlying trend is still on track... intact,” she told reporters after the opening of the Asean anti-money laundering workshop hosted by the central bank in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.  

Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz

“It's better than expected given that we had a number of adverse developments during that period. The numbers that came in showed that,” she said. 

The economy grew 4% in the January-March quarter. 

The workshop was opened by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen on behalf of Second Finance Minister Datuk Dr Jamaludin Jarjis. 

On the issuance of the second Islamic sovereign bonds, Zeti said this was one of the options available should the government decide to raise funds. “This is something that we are looking at,” she said. 

Earlier, in her opening remarks at the workshop, Zeti said cooperation among Asean countries was essential to facilitate cross-border investigations into money laundering.  

She said Malaysia had always accorded the highest priority to efforts to ensure good corporate governance in its financial institutions. These included putting in place laws and regulations and guidelines to promote sound banking practices. 

These operating conditions have been, and are being reviewed to take into consideration recent developments, which included the newly revised 40 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force and the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001. 

Zeti said: “As part of our efforts to ensure the implementation of a comprehensive anti-money laundering system, a Financial Intelligence Unit was established in Bank Negara.  

“The unit receives and analyses suspicious transaction reports and disseminates financial intelligence on such activities to the relevant law enforcement agency for investigation and subsequent prosecution. 

“The Supervision Department of Bank Negara has also developed an anti-money laundering supervisory framework. This arrangement assesses the effectiveness of the anti-money laundering compliance framework at financial institutions. 

“In our ongoing efforts to strengthen our anti-money laundering regime, the Financial Intelligence Unit has also begun consultations with stockbrokers, accountants and lawyers.  

“This step is taken prior to having the AMLA invoked in their reporting obligations,” she added. 

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