The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) congratulates all Malaysians on their pressure towards Perikatan Nasional (PN) Government that resulted in the sacking of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman from the post of Non-Executive Chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad (PRASARANA) by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (MOF Inc.) immediately.
This is an important victory for the people. However, problems such as the case of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman will not stop if there is no institutional reform on the process of appointing chairman and board of directors of government-linked companies (GLCs) to ensure that candidates with true integrity and qualifications are appointed.
The people’s demand must continue so that the appointment of GLC posts is based on the meritocracy and integrity of candidates, and the practice of appointing a member of parliament (MP) or state assemblyman (ADUN) to hold positions in GLCs is stopped altogether. This is paramount to prevent the epidemic of corruption, cronyism and patronage politics from infecting the GLC administration and sacrificing the people’s interest.
The MOF Inc. needs to appoint a new chairman of PRASARANA based on the guidelines that has been outlined by the Ministry of Finance itself since 2014. Among the guidelines are:
- An independent nomination committee to be established by the board of PRASARANA to receive candidate nominations and short-list candidates for consideration by the board of directors of PRASARANA and endorsement by the MOF Incorporated.
- Individuals appointed as Board of Directors (BOD) must have educational and professional qualifications such as expertise and experience in business, finance, law, accounting, management and other skills related to the company.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul does not seem to have complied with these guidelines in the previous appointment of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman. Nevertheless, Tengku Zafrul still has the chance to improve this situation by appointing a chairman of PRASARANA who is qualified, skilled and experienced in management related to PRASARANA. YB Tengku Zafrul should not repeat his mistake by appointing other politicians to head the GLCs under his supervision.
BERSIH 2.0 also urges the PN government to re-examine all positions of MPs appointed to head GLCs, GLICs and commercial statutory bodies. This practice should be stopped immediately, as stipulated in the Nomination and Board Election Policy and Procedures of FGV Holdings Berhad, a subsidiary of FELDA which prohibits any active politician from being appointed as a board member.
Members of parliament who serve as directors or chairman of GLCs should be replaced immediately with candidates of integrity and qualifications through a transparent, fair and accountable process rather than continuing to waste public resources to pay their salaries.
BERSIH 2.0 reiterates our call for the government to enact a GLC Act to reform the process of appointing directors or chairman of GLCs and commercially related statutory bodies. This reform is crucial so that the appointed individuals will not bring personal or party interests but act on public interest.
The nomination of candidates for GLC posts and commercially related statutory bodies should also be reviewed by Parliamentary Select Committees to ensure all guidelines, criteria and conditions of the appointment process are met and truly qualified candidates are appointed.
We also urge that Tajuddin Abdul Rahman no longer be appointed to any GLC positions or other statutory bodies.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0