New laws on political appointments needed, say experts

29 Mar 2023 03:52pm
More politicians appointed in GLC is no longer asurprise in Malaysia
More politicians appointed in GLC is no longer asurprise in Malaysia

SHAH ALAM - The public may feel that Pakatan Harapan may not be keeping to their word after more politicians were appointed to government-linked companies (GLC) or any other strategic posts.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) political analyst Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam said such perception is not surprising as the coalition had spoken on its reform agendas perviously.

"For example, the previous criticism was on the prime minister holding the finance ministry portfolio too.

"The call for clean governance in the government administration was also sidelined when the prime minister appointed individuals who faced court charges into his cabinet," he told Sinar Daily.

Aziz further said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had appointed his daughter, Nurul Izzah to be his economic advisor a few months ago. After heavy criticism, she had resigned and joined a new secretariat. "This clearly shows nepotism and hypocrisy in today's government," he added.

Echoing Aziz's view, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) political analyst Dr Syaza Shukri said the government had tried to distinguish between GLCs and statutory organisations.

"Although statutory bodies are different and can benefit from politicians’ experiences on policy making, the optics remain poor as it appears as a political reward.

"Unless proper processes and procedures have been set to justify these appointments.

"At the end of the day, I feel politics in Malaysia has not changed much as it is still entrenched in the local political culture," she stressed.

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Meanwhile, reformist Abdul Razak Ismail said he did not object to political appointments.

"However, from what I see, they do not contribute to the people or the GLCs," Razak, who is also a Green Party secretary general, stressed.

He said politicians received allowances from GLCs they were serving.

"In other words, they use these allowances to win voters' votes, and they are not really focused on their jobs; they use all methods to gain voters," he said.

For instance, in PKR, he said they use prominent people to woo voters.

He agreed that several politicians carry out their jobs effectively in GLCs; however, majority of them are still not qualified.

Due to that, Razak said it was high time for a proper guidelines to be issued by Parliament on political appointments.

Recently, social media platforms were buzzing with apparent appointment of Parit Sulong MP Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad as chairman of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).

Two weeks ago, former Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki was appointed as the new Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman.