She's got really soft fingers

Today, Bank Negara organised a media workshop to better engage with business journalists. I was among the 30-odd reporters and editors who had lunch with the central bank governor Tan Sri Zeti Aziz.

Yes, this is the lady whose signature is the most recognised in the country. Her signature is inked on every Ringgit Malaysia currency note from RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 to RM100.

Since 16th July 2012, Bank Negara issued a new series of banknotes. I asked the governor why Bank Negara had kept the oil palm tree motif on the back of the RM50 note since August 2007. She replied that it is distinctively Malaysia and draws inspiration from nature. She also said that the palm oil industry plays an important role in our economy and that quite a few plantation companies are among the Top 20 heavyweights on the stock exchange.

When Zeti was informed that many oil palm planters and Felda settlers are very happy that Bank Negara had kept the oil palm tree motif on the back of the RM50 note, she smiled and nodded.  "I'll bear that in mind."

When it is time to say goodbye, I shook hands with her. I must say ... for an 'Iron Lady' who has a tight grip on our economy, she's got really soft fingers.