KUALA LUMPUR: Political appointees in government-linked corporations (GLCs) are acceptable – as long as there is transparency in the system, says Petronas chief integrity officer Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob.
He said that issues would only arise when there is a lack of transparency practised by the corporation.
"I have no problem with appointing a political figure as chairman of a GLC, but there has to be clear and transparent terms of reference.
"Make sure they understand the reporting system and are supervised. Make sure the person appointed understands that they are duty-bound, then it will work," said Rohaizad.
He was speaking at a forum on conflicts of interest and prevention of political patronage to check on corruption organised by the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) here on Thursday (Feb 21).
Rohaizad said that putting non-political appointees could also cause conflict of interest if there was no integrity, giving the example of a hypothetical businessman with connections to politicians.
"After 34 years as an officer in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), I believe that if all procedures are in place and a person with integrity enforcing them, you will not have any problems," said Rohaizad.
He also said that Malaysia has many deterrent laws but people break it because the punishment is minimal.
Other panellists in the forum included academic Professor Edmund Terence Gomez, Cheryl Khor from accounting firm Deloitte and Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.