KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today accused the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government of appointing their MPs as directors and board members of government-linked companies (GLCs) as a form of political reward to maintain its shaky hold on power.
The former finance minister said that the installation of PN politicians as directors and board members of GLCs went against the ideals of good governance.
“The 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 enjoy the perks and privileges of office in the GLC, how does the GLC benefit?” he asked in a statement.
Lim said justifying such appointments by saying the PN MPs have the necessary expertise, experience, integrity and responsibility is absurd.
“Politicians cannot be more 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 professionals and experts who are focused on improving the performance of the company,” he said.
Lim said the PN government had clearly reversed Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) policy of not appointing politicians to GLCs.
“PH only appointed politicians to serve on statutory bodies that exercise regulatory powers. Statutory bodies are generally not involved in business and have limited contracts to offer in scope and size,” he said.
The Bagan MP said GLCs headed by politicians are generally not enthusiastic about good corporate governance, especially when it comes to punishing financial misappropriation or wrongdoings.
“GLCs can be compelled to abide by 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,” he said.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz defended the appointment of politicians to statutory bodies and GLCs by saying the move helped to provide “checks and balances” and ensured firms operated per the government’s aspirations.
He said this in his August 6 parliamentary reply to Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin, who had asked for a list of political appointments, their salary schemes, plus justifications for their selection.
In his answer, Tengku Zafrul (above) said 15 politicians including MPs, state assemblymen, senators and party members had been appointed to Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc) companies while “only two” politicians were appointed to statutory bodies parked under his ministry.