Sukh­dave quits Bank Ne­gara

Deputy gover­nor says lead­er­ship is a re­spon­si­bil­ity, not a priv­i­lege

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page - By CE­CILIA KOK and ROYCE TAN starbiz@thes­tar.com.my

PE­TAL­ING JAYA: A long-serv­ing se­nior of­fi­cial at Bank Ne­gara, Sukud­hew (Sukh­dave) Singh, in his part­ing shot said “lead­er­ship is a re­spon­si­bil­ity and not a priv­i­lege”.

It is un­der­stood that the out­go­ing deputy gover­nor has re­minded his col­leagues that “noth­ing shines a brighter light into the depths of your char­ac­ter than your be­hav­iour when you be­lieve that you have power over oth­ers”.

Sukh­dave will re­tire on Dec 31, 2017, af­ter serv­ing the cen­tral bank for 31 years.

Jes­sica Chew Cheng Lian, cur­rently an as­sis­tant gover­nor, will re­place him for a three-year term ef­fec­tive Jan 1, 2018.

Sukh­dave’s res­ig­na­tion comes more than a year ahead of his term as deputy gover­nor, which is sup­posed to end in April 2019. It marks the de­par­ture of an­other se­nior of­fi­cial close to for­mer gover­nor Tan Sri Zeti Akhar Aziz since the lat­ter’s term ended in April 2016.

In ex­plain­ing the rea­son for his de­par­ture, Sukh­dave is un­der­stood to have told his col­leagues that it was due to cer­tain pro­fes­sional stan­dards that he deemed im­por­tant not be­ing met.

“Sukh­dave’s early re­tire­ment does not come as a sur­prise. He was an econ­o­mist like Zeti and prob­a­bly was more com­fort­able with her style of do­ing things,” said a source.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Bank Ne­gara thanked Sukh­dave for his con­tri­bu­tion and il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer span­ning over 31 years with the cen­tral bank.

The same state­ment saw the cen­tral bank an­nounc­ing that the ap­point­ment of Chew as deputy gover­nor for a three-year term ef­fec­tive Jan 1, 2018 had been ap­proved by the Fi­nance Min­is­ter.

Chew would as­sume the po­si­tion of deputy gover­nor fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of Sukh­dave at the end of this year.

“As deputy gover­nor, Chew will be re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nan­cial sec­tor reg­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing pay­ment sys­tems, the or­gan­i­sa­tional de­vel­op­ment sec­tor and cen­tralised shared ser­vices,” Bank Ne­gara said.

“In line with the ap­point­ment of Chew as deputy gover­nor on Jan 1, 2018, ef­fec­tive on the same date, deputy gover­nor Ab­dul Rasheed Ghaf­four will over­see the mone­tary and eco­nomics sec­tor, su­per­vi­sion sec­tor, in­vest­ment and op­er­a­tions sec­tor, as well as the Link and Bank Ne­gara of­fices, fi­nance and le­gal de­part­ments,” it added.

Chew joined Bank Ne­gara in 1993. She holds a Bach­e­lor in Com­merce ma­jor­ing in ac­count­ing and fi­nance from the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne.

With the ap­point­ment of Chew, the cen­tral bank would still have one deputy gover­nor’s post un­filled. The po­si­tion has been va­cant since Nov 15 last year when Datuk Nor Sham­siah Mohd Yunus was not reap­pointed af­ter the end of her ten­ure.

“Nor Sham­siah is now with the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund,” said a source.

Nor Sham­siah’s de­par­ture came seven months af­ter Zeti fin­ished her ten­ure as gover­nor of the cen­tral bank in April 2016.

Nor Sham­siah was in charge of bank­ing reg­u­la­tions and was said to be in­volved in the cen­tral bank’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions of 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Bhd (1MDB) when Zeti was the gover­nor.

Tan Sri Muham­mad Ibrahim re­placed Zeti as gover­nor of Bank Ne­gara on May 1, 2016.

Zeti had served as Bank Ne­gara gover­nor since 2000 and saw the Malaysian bank­ing sys­tem through its tough­est pe­riod when the con­sol­i­da­tion of fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions was at its peak.

How­ever, in her last 18 months at the helm of Bank Ne­gara, the well-re­spected cen­tral banker hogged the lime­light for its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the bank­ing trans­ac­tions re­lated to 1MDB.

Mean­while, fi­nance in­dus­try of­fi­cials did not dis­count the prospects of Sukh­dave be­ing of­fered a po­si­tion in an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory body.

Sukh­dave joined Bank Ne­gara in 1986 and rose to be­come as­sis­tant gover­nor in March 2009.

In April 2013, he was pro­moted to deputy gover­nor. He was mainly in charge of the mone­tary and eco­nomic sec­tors. Af­ter Nor Sham­siah left, he was also over­see­ing the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence and En­force­ment Depart­ment.

He holds a PhD in Mone­tary and In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics from Van­der­bilt Univer­sity in the US.

In­com­ing deputy gover­nor: Chew to as­sume new po­si­tion.

Out­go­ing deputy gover­nor: Sukh­dave will re­tire on Dec 31.

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