Nazir Razak: Key institutions must act independently

Nazir Razak: Key institutions must act independently

KUALA LUMPUR - Key institutions in the country should be able to function independently to ensure foreign investors' confidence, CIMB group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said.

Saying that investors he had spoken to were "concerned about the institutions" in the country, Nazir stressed that the "sanctity of our institutions is fundamental to this country".

"We have always marketed Malaysia as a country with very strong and well-functioning institutions.

"That is the bedrock of this nation and recent events have cast some doubts on the minds of the international community," Nazir told the media after participating in a forum held as part of The Economist South-East Asia Summit 2015 at the Westin Hotel on Thursday.

He added that the perceptions on Malaysia's key institutions needed to be addressed as part of the effort to have the ringgit traded at a "fair value".

According to Nazir, the recent political happenings in the country had influenced foreign investors.

"From my perspective, one of the big issues is sentiment - the concern of international investors about the political situation in Malaysia.

"And bringing back confidence is very important," he said.

He added that he was pleased with efforts made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to engage with sections of the community to get a wider perspective on the economy.

"We need to diagnose properly and then we need to come up with sensible responses.

"I think it's important to keep the right perspective of things," he said.

He added, however, that there needed to be an environment of openness in terms of receiving and giving feedback on the economy.

"It's very dangerous when people are too flippant about commenting on what's going on.

"This suggestion that there is economic sabotage - that's not a very useful way of analysing the situation.

"I think that just turns people off (as) it will create a climate of fear so that people get apprehensive about speaking up.

"But at the same time, we want people to tell the PM what they see in terms of what's happening on the ground (in regards to) the economy so that he can respond correctly," he said.

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