SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government has picked a 49-year-old former group managing director of a realty development consultancy firm, Othman Omar, as the new general manager for the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).
The appointment, effective from Feb 1 next year, ends months of speculations as well as controversies that arose after PKNS deputy general manager (finance) Datuk Low Siew Moi was appointed acting general manager last month.
Six staff associations from PKNS had protested her appointment and called for a bumiputra to be picked to the post.
Low will return to her post as the deputy general manager when Othman takes over and is expected to remain until the end of her contract next November.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said Othman was appointed based on his vast experience in realty and development which included the construction of low and medium cost homes and mega projects.
Khalid, who is also the chairman of the PKNS board of directors, said he believed that Othman’s experience would be beneficial in the corporation’s efforts to re-develop new townships like Petaling Jaya, Kajang and Klang.
“We believe Othman will get good cooperation from PKNS staff and senior officials, and Low will help him familiarise himself with PKNS’ operations.
“I have asked Low to stay on as deputy general manager after Othman takes office and we might find another area for her to move to (later),” he told a press conference here on Tuesday.
Othman also served as Propel Bhd Engineering Division head, Kesas Holdings Bhd general manager and director of SP Setia Bhd subsidiary KLWK Sdn Bhd.
Speaking to reporters later, Low said she had been informed of Othman’s appointment at a meeting with Khalid earlier Tuesday.
She said she would not let the protests against her appointment affect her 35-year service at PKNS, especially since the six staff associations that had protested had since apologised to Khalid over their actions. She said she considered the matter closed.
“There are a lot positive experiences that I will take with me from my appointment as the acting general manager -- like the chance to head a major corporation like PKNS for several months -- and I will focus on those.
“The Mentri Besar has hinted that he has plans for where I can serve next and I will let him announce in due time what he has in mind,” she said when asked if she expected to be appointed to head some other state government linked company.
Othman said he was one of the 58 applicants for the post and had been confident of his chances after passing through the two stages of interviews.
He said he believed he was appointed based on his 25 years of experience in the industry and what he had to offer to PKNS, and not on his ethnicity.
“I can make more on my own so I did not apply for the post because of the money, but I believe it will give me a chance to leave behind a legacy of achievement if I do this right,” he said.
He said among the areas he would look to improve was PKNS’ delivery system and providing the best possible returns to stakeholders.
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