Meet Raja Nong Chik the new FT chief


PROFILE Raja Datuk Nong Chik Zainal Abidin Age: 56 – Head of the Umno Lembah Pantai division. – Until his appointment as minister on Thursday, he was an independent non-executive director of Pharmaniaga Bhd. He was appointed to the Pharmaniaga board on Sept 2, 1999. – Began his industrial career at the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) in 1978. – In 1979, he became manager in charge of corporate planning at Kumpulan Fima Bhd. In 1982, he joined OYL Industries as an executive director. – Sworn in as a senator on Thursday and appointed the Federal Territories Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Raja Nong Chik, who has a degree in economics from the University of Wales in Britain, is the president of the Bumiputra Manufacturers and Service Industry Association of Malaysia. He is a member of Malaysia Innovation Council chaired by the prime minister and also a member of the Chartered Secretaries and Administrat ors.

Raja Datuk Nong Chik Zainal Abidin

Age: 56

– Head of the Umno Lembah Pantai division.

– Until his appointment as minister on Thursday, he was an independent non-executive director of Pharmaniaga Bhd. He was appointed to the Pharmaniaga board on Sept 2, 1999.

– Began his industrial career at the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) in 1978.

– In 1979, he became manager in charge of corporate planning at Kumpulan Fima Bhd. In 1982, he joined OYL Industries as an executive director.

– Sworn in as a senator on Thursday and appointed the Federal Territories Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

THE appointment of Raja Datuk Nong Chik Zainal Abidin as the Federal Territories Minister surprised many people, but the relatively unknown corporate figure is not a greenhorn in politics.

“I may be a newcomer in the government, but I am certainly not new in politics, especially at grassroots level,’’ Raja Nong Chik told StarMetro yesterday.

According to Raja Nong Chik, he was an active Umno grassroots member for over 25 years and has been involved at the Umno division level since 1989.

Raja Nong Chik, who was the president of the Bumiputra Manufacturers and Service Industry Association of Malaysia, said that he would use his experience in business and industry to enhance the business of the hawkers and petty traders in Kuala Lumpur.

“But I can’t do this alone. I will need the constructive input from the MPs of Kuala Lumpur,’’ he said, adding that he was looking forward to meet the MPs soon.

Raja Nong Chik said that it was important for him to work with the Kuala Lumpur MPs to develop the city as it was the federal capital and a business hub, especially during the current economic slowndown.

Asked what were his plans for the federal territories, Raja Nong Chik said that his priority was to get to know the workings of the ministry and, to do that, he would ask his predecessor Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique for a briefing.

“The prime minister has given us 30 days to organise our performance which will be closely monitored through the key performance indicators (KPI) and only after that will I be able to tell you more about my plans for the federal territories,’’ he said.

Former FT Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique was quick to congratulate Raja Nong Chik.

“I accept the decision and wish to congratulate those who have been appointed to the Cabinet.

“I would also like to wish Raja Nong Chik all the best with his appointment as the new Federal Territories Minister,” he said.

Labuan Corporation president Datuk Suhaili Abd Rahman said the appointment of ministers was the perogative of the Prime Minister and that “he knows best.”

“As members of the Umno family, we accept and support his decision,” he added.

Meanwhile, the 10 Pakatan Rakyat MPs of Kuala Lumpur, said that they had no idea who Raja Nong Chik was and were there unable to give any comment on him.

When StarMetro asked them what they thought about the man, most of them said: “I don’t know him lah.’’

Most of the MPs, however, expressed surprise that the ministry was not abolished as they felt that it was redundant.

Some of the MPs said that when they heard that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was going for a much leaner cabinet, they thought he would be do away with redundant ministries, and the Federal Territories Ministry was certainly the first to go.

“It is rather odd to retain the FT Ministry as it has overlapping authorities and functions with the Datuk Bandar,’’ Batu MP Tian Chua said.

“We don’t know him at all, whether or not he has had experience in local government.

“So it’s difficult to comment on the man,” Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong said.

“But the ministry is redundant. The mayor of Kuala Lumpur can easily do the job since he has the powers under the Federal Capital Act 1960,’’ Wee said.

“The mayor has absolute power under the Federal Capital Act 1960. So, why have the ministry?” Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said.

“As for Raja Nong Chik, I don’t know who he is,’’ Lim said.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said that she was surprised with the choice of Raja Nong Chik as the FT minister.Nevertheless, Nurul said she would try to work with him.

“I honestly don’t know this man, so I will reserve my comments until I know him better,’’ Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun said.

Both Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali also agreed that the ministry should be abolished.

On Raja Nong Chik’s appointment, they were surprised as they said Raja Nong Chik was not even selected to contest in the last general election and yet made a minister.

Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw, however, did not think that the FT Ministry should be abolished.

He said that for Kuala Lumpur to attain world class status, the ministry must be retained. “As for Raja Nong Chik, I honestly don’t know the man, but I will be keeping an eye on him and his deputy. He cannot play around,’’ Tan said.

PROFILE

Raja Datuk Nong Chik Zainal Abidin

Age: 56

– Head of the Umno Lembah Pantai division.

– Until his appointment as minister on Thursday, he was an independent non-executive director of Pharmaniaga Bhd. He was appointed to the Pharmaniaga board on Sept 2, 1999.

– Began his industrial career at the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) in 1978.

– In 1979, he became manager in charge of corporate planning at Kumpulan Fima Bhd. In 1982, he joined OYL Industries as an executive director.

– Sworn in as a senator on Thursday and appointed the Federal Territories Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Raja Nong Chik, who has a degree in economics from the University of Wales in Britain, is the president of the Bumiputra Manufacturers and Service Industry Association of Malaysia.

He is a member of Malaysia Innovation Council chaired by the prime minister and also a member of the Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

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