Academic: Say no to politicians leading GLCs, statutory bodies

Edmund Terence Gomez speaks to reporters after his meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons.

KUALA LUMPUR: An academic today voiced opposition to politicians leading statutory bodies and government-linked companies (GLCs) unless they do so in a ministerial or government capacity.

“If the politician is sitting there in his capacity as a Cabinet minister or a state exco member, we can consider it,” Edmund Terence Gomez of Universiti Malaya told reporters after meeting the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) at Menara Ilham.

Gomez said he had discussed reforms to statutory bodies and GLCs with the CEP.

He has also called for a total revamp of GLCs without the involvement of political parties and politicians.

Gomez was responding to questions on the recent appointment of Wan Saiful Wan Jan as chairman of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), which sparked controversy in some circles.

Wan Saiful, the special adviser to Education Minister Maszlee Malik and former CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), was appointed on June 18 for a two-year term.

Maszlee had dismissed criticism that it was a political move, saying Wan Saiful stepped in as no one else wanted the job.

DAP veteran Dr Boo Cheng Hau said last week the appointment should be scrutinised and made transparent to prevent cronyism and corruption.

“I am against executive interference when expertise should supersede political interests,” he had said.

He added that political parties or figures should not have any ties to GLCs and statutory bodies.