TOKYO, June 11 (Bernama) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the person who will succeed Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor has been identified.
Speaking at a dialogue with journalists at the Japan National Press Club here Monday, the Malaysian prime minister said the appointment would be made soon.
"Although we've identified the person we cannot name the person until we have obtained the approval of the king (Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V).
"Until then we will not be able to announce the name," Dr Mahathir said to a query on this matter.
It was reported that the government had accepted the resignation of Muhammad as BNM Governor, effective June 6.
Muhammad assumed the office of governor on May 1, 2016, succeeding Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. He was the eighth governor of BNM.
It was reported that BNM was embroiled in a controversy over a RM2 billion land purchase which was said to be linked to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fiasco.
Dr Mahathir was also queried on the possibility of an economic crisis hitting Malaysia due to its sizeable debt levels.
Malaysia, he said, was fortunate to have huge savings such as through the Employees Provident Fund, for example, and many other institutions which had saved quite a lot of money.
"So that can be a backing in our attempt to recover the economy," the prime minister said.
He explained that Malaysia had certain experience in handling financial woes, like the one in 1997, from which it managed to get out of.
"We feel that we know something about the financial matters of the country which would enable us to claw back and regain our financial strength as it was before.
"I don t think that under this government the country will slide into bankruptcy," he said.
Dr Mahathir is on a three-day working visit to Japan during which he attended the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia, or Nikkei Conference, earlier today.