Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur On 13.8.2020.
Will the Politician Director or Chairman Of GLCs Still Unearth or Probe The Many Financial Wrongdoings Exposed by The Previous GLCs with Professional Directors Under PH over 22 Months?
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz’s explanation that appointing politicians to head government-linked companies (GLCs), helps to provide “check and balance” so that GLCs and statutory bodies are in line with the government’s policies and aspirations, contradicts good corporate governance. The present government had reversed PH policy of not appointing politicians to GLCs.
PH only appointed politicians to serve on statutory bodies that exercises regulatory powers. Statutory bodies are generally not involved in business and have limited contracts to offer in scope and size. Observing the conduct or performance of GLCs without politicians under PH and GLCs with politicians under BN, GLCs headed by or comprising director politicians are generally not enthusiastic about good corporate governance, especially in punishing financial misappropriation or wrongdoings.
Appointing politicians as directors and Chairpersons of GLCs because there are “fit and proper” with the necessary expertise, experience, integrity, and responsibility is absurd, because politicians cannot be more proficient capable or knowledgeable than experts or professionals. It is open knowledge that politicians have different priorities when they are in the GLC, as compared to professional and expert directors who are focused on improving the performance of the company.
Further GLCs can be compelled to abide with government policy through Ministerial directive or the presence of senior Ministry civil servants sitting in as directors. There is no need to appoint politicians to ensure that government policy is complied with.
The present PN government has turned the appointments of MPs into GLCs, as a form of political reward to maintain their shaky hold on power with a slim two seat parliamentary majority. So far 17 such appointments have been made. Whilst these MPs will enjoy the perks and privileges of office in the GLC, how does the GLC benefit?
Will the politician director or Chairman of GLCs still unearth or probe the many financial wrongdoings exposed by the previous GLCs with professional directors under PH over 22 months? Will the GLC be able to focus on improving GLC’s corporate performance, to ensure that it is a trustworthy and reliable custodian of public funds involving tens of billion of ringgit that brings benefits to the rakyat?
Or will the GLC instead be used as a political tool and sponsor expensive RM6,525 lunches for government MPs as exposed by Batu MP Prabakaran, filled with so much food that they are packaged back home?
Lim Guan Eng,
Member of Parliament for Bagan.