Sukhdave quits Bank Negara
Deputy governor says leadership is a responsibility, not a privilege
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.