Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Monday, September 7, 1998 Published at 06:23 GMT 07:23 UK


Business: The Economy

Malaysian Prime Minister tightens economic grip

Traders have been watching Malaysian share prices nervously

Malaysia has appointed a new central bank governor as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad seeks to implement a sweeping shake-up of the country's economy.

The new governor is Ali Abul Hassan Sulaiman, the head of the prime minister's powerful economic planning unit.

The move consolidates Dr Mahathir's dominance over the country and its economy as he moves to protect Malaysia's embattled currency, the ringgit, from international speculators.

Analysts believe Ali Abul Hassan appointment will help ensure that the central bank does whatever the government wants it to do.


[ image: Former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim]
Former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim
Shares on the Malaysian stock market soared by more than a quarter in morning trading on Monday.

However international investors remain wary about the outlook for the Malaysian economy and Dr Mahathir's reforms and buying has so far been confined to domestic retail investors.

The prime minister has chosen to isolate Malaysia's economy, banning trading of the ringgit overseas and fixing its exchange rate.

But his decision has caused a rift at the pinnacle of Malaysia's political system.

The new appointment of the central bank governor follows the sacking last week of the deputy prime minister and finance minister, Anwar Ibrahim, who opposed the prime minister's decision to impose strict currency controls.

Both the former governor and his deputy resigned last month citing policy differences with Dr Mahathir.

Mr Anwar faces a series of charges ranging from sexual misconduct to endangering national security.

He has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, describing the charges as politically motivated.

Mr Anwar has announced plans for a nationwide tour in favour of economic reforms, a move which correspondents say will put him on a collision course with the Prime Minister.

Malaysian police are reported to have arrested Siukam Sukma Darmawam, an adopted brother of Mr Anwar Ibrahim, as the political crisis escalates.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


The Economy Contents

Relevant Stories

07 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Sacked Malaysian minister says authorities are harassing his family

04 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian PM 'paranoid'

03 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Conspiracy claim by ousted Anwar

02 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Armed police stand by in Kuala Lumpur

02 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysia's deputy prime minister fired

02 Sep 98 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysia pegs Ringgit





In this section

Inquiry into energy provider loyalty

Brown considers IMF job

Chinese imports boost US trade gap

No longer Liffe as we know it

The growing threat of internet fraud

House passes US budget

Online share dealing triples

Rate fears as sales soar

Brown's bulging war-chest

Oil reaches nine-year high

UK unemployment falls again

Trade talks deadlocked

US inflation still subdued

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Bank considered bigger rate rise

UK pay rising 'too fast'

Utilities face tough regulation

CBI's new chief named

US stocks hit highs after rate rise

US Fed raises rates

UK inflation creeps up

Row over the national shopping basket

Military airspace to be cut

TUC warns against following US

World growth accelerates

Union merger put in doubt

Japan's tentative economic recovery

EU fraud costs millions

CBI choice 'could wreck industrial relations'

WTO hails China deal

US business eyes Chinese market

Red tape task force

Websites and widgets

Guru predicts web surge

Malaysia's economy: The Sinatra Principle

Shell secures Iranian oil deal

Irish boom draws the Welsh

China deal to boost economy

US dream scenario continues

Japan's billion dollar spending spree