Dr Wee: Pakatan can't keep promise to reduce powers of PM

  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Jul 2018

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's appointment as Khazanah Nasional Berhad chairman shows that the Pakatan Harapan Government cannot keep its promise to reduce the powers of the Prime Minister, said Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the MCA deputy president and Ayer Hitam MP, said if the Government wanted to appoint politicians to Khazanah’s board of directors, the Finance Minister should have also been appointed.

This was due to Khazanah being fully-owned by Minister of Finance Incorporated, a body incorporated pursuant to the Minister of Finance (Incorporation) Act 1957, said Dr Wee.

“Is the Finance Minister only fit to be a bookkeeper and take care of Tabung Harapan but not qualified enough to sit on the board of our country’s only sovereign fund?” he asked. 

In addition, Dr Wee said he found it strange that Khazanah’s main objective had been revised to help bumiputras by the Prime Minister.

“I find it strange since Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) was supposed to play that role whereas Khazanah was supposed to be the sovereign fund for all Malaysians,” he said.

It was feared, Dr Wee added, that the Government’s most lucrative assets could pass to the hands of cronies or proxies.

This was following Dr Mahathir’s statement that Khazanah would eventually sell the shares it owned in profitable companies to unspecified bumiputra owners. 

It was disappointing, Dr Wee noted, that no DAP or PKR leaders had come forward to say whether they agreed with the Prime Minister that Khazanah was only meant for bumiputras only. 

Dr Mahathir was appointed Khazanah chairman while Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was named as its director.

In a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office on Monday, Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, Dr Sukhdave Singh and Goh Ching Yin were also named as Khazanah's directors.

All appointments will take effect immediately.

However, the appointment of Khazanah's managing director will be made at a later date.

The appointments came after the entire Khazanah board of directors submitted their resignation letters last Thursday (July 26) following their unanimous decision that Dr Mahathir's administration should determine the company's new leadership structure.

The new government led by Dr Mahathir repeatedly criticised Khazanah, stating that it had deviated from its original objectives and that the executives were overpaid.
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