Stop political appointees for GLCs, says anti-graft NGO

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PETALING JAYA: Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) says Putrajaya should review its criteria for appointing directors to government-linked companies (GLC).

Calling for a stop to naming political appointees to senior positions, including GLC chairman and directors, TI-M president Akhbar Satar said the most important criteria was that those appointed were qualified and had integrity.

“The people appointed to lead GLCs must be competent, dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields and above all, possess integrity.

“Furthermore, the candidates must be vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC),” Akhbar said.

His comments come in the wake of reports that some RM2 billion leaked from government departments and GLCs, was later recovered following an audit by the national audit department.

Akhbar said GLC directors who were found to be involved in scandals or who failed to discharge their duties responsibly must be removed from their posts immediately.

“Severe action must be taken against them for they have breached the trust of the people,” he said, adding that hard-earned taxpayer money was invested in GLCs, and that these funds must not be swindled away.

Akhbar said the “three lines of defence” against leakages – management control, risk control and compliance, and internal audits – adopted by many companies and GLCs had failed as a result of poor monitoring by their board of directors.

Akhbar said state governments should also review their criteria for appointing directors to state-owned enterprises.

Meanwhile, former treasury deputy secretary-general Ramon Navaratnam commended Auditor-General (A-G) Ambrin Buang on the recovery of the RM2 billion.

“What gives the public a great sense of hopelessness is that the perpetrators of the leakages are not caught nor are they made to face the music,” he told FMT.

“The people are hoping that the government will take action against errant officials,” he said, adding this would go a long way to protect the government’s reputation and integrity.

It was recently reported that Ambrin said some RM2 billion had been recovered following an audit by the national audit department.

Ambrin said the money was recovered from the audit conducted four years ago on government departments and agencies which previously showed weaknesses in managing funds.

Govt recoups about RM2b after successful auditing