PETALING JAYA: A proposal by PAS to have its MPs appointed to head government-linked companies (GLCs) has come under fire despite the fact it has been the practice in Malaysia for decades.
Records show that when the Barisan Nasional was in power, many of its leaders, whether or not they were MPs, were given plump positions in GLCs. Even the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition had some of its own taking up the top jobs in state businesses despite its pledge to refrain from such practices in its 2018 election manifesto.
Akhramsyah Mummar Ubaidah Sanusi, a supreme council member of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, was appointed chairman of Mara Corp Sdn Bhd after PH came into power.
Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who was Economic Affairs Minister in the PH government, said in January that politicians “who are qualified” could be appointed to head GLCs in spite of its election promises.
Former Perlis mentri besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, who is rumoured to be slated for the post of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) chairman, told theSun that most, if not all, government MPs without official positions are qualified to head GLCs.
Shahidan, who is Arau MP, has refuted the claim that he will be appointed to head FGV.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan had said a week ago that the remaining nine of the party’s 18 MPs who do not hold government positions should be given the responsibility to manage GLCs.
Shahidan said the important factor is that the person appointed is qualified.
“Among the 47 Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs (who still do not hold government positions), I believe some are highly qualified, and they can be appointed.”
He cited former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as being among those qualified.
“Just because they are politicians, does not mean they cannot do work,” he added.
However, Suara Rakyat Malaysia, a group that advocates human rights, is against such appointments. Its executive director Sevan Dorasamy told theSun that such a move would depict PN as not only a “backdoor” government but also one built on greed, and would be a threat to the people’s welfare.
“It would be explicit that acknowledgement and acceptance of money politics are the foundation of the PN government,” he said.
Instead, he added, only technocrats with the best minds should be allowed to head GLCs.
In a statement issued last week, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang noted that while Malaysians were making great sacrifices under the movement control order, government MPs “seem only interested in positions in GLCs”.
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