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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Sun, 26 May 2019, 6:52 PM


William Leong: Political appointment in regulators fine but not GLCs

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PETALING JAYA, Jan 9 — The chairman of the Parliament Special Select Committee on major public appointments said political appointments to regulators were acceptable but not those to government-linked companies (GLCs).

William Leong said the two entities had separate functions altogether. 

Speaking to Malay Mail, Leong who is also the PKR MP for Selayang explained that GLCs and regulatory bodies such as the National Kenaf and Tobacco Board were not to be confused with one another.

“Regulatory bodies are out there to carry out policies first and foremost while GLCs are primarily aimed at making profits.

“There is no problem with political appointees to regulatory bodies because politicians are needed to implement policies when they are appointed to the respective boards,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

He was asked to respond to complaints that several Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) members have been placed in GLC leadership.

He said an example of a GLC would be Malaysia’s electric utility company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, which needs to turn a profit.

“Regulatory bodies do not generate profit unlike GLCs and are merely regulating the industry by functioning as a vehicle to implement government policies,” he added.

Leong also echoed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s remark that political appointees should not be at government-linked corporations, adding that these should be limited to regulatory bodies.

He pointed out that the committee does not look into appointees within regulatory bodies but is committed to fulfilling Promise 22 of the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.

PH has made several such appointments including National Higher Education Fund Corporation chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PPBM), Mara Corporation chairman Akhramsyah Sanusi (PPBM), and National Kenaf and Tobacco Board chairman Wan Rahim Wan Abdullah (Amanah).

“PH will ensure the appointment of state and GLC board members be made based on merit and professionalism, not based on politics.

“However certain exemptions can be made in GLC appointments if the said politician can add value to the management of the GLC in terms of financial gain,” he said.

“What does he or she bring, for instance? I do not think people will complain if the said appointee has the necessary merits or qualifications to manage the GLC.

“The main concern is that we do not want GLCs to be politicised,” he said.

According to Promise 22 in the manifesto, PH aims to make the governance of GLCs world class and be on par with international standards.

PH culled political appointees from the previous Barisan Nasional administration after winning the general election while many others left of their own accord.


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