Anwar: No problem getting right people for top jobs

Anwar Ibrahim says any prime minister who assumes office has the right to make changes.

SINGAPORE: Malaysia is not experiencing any difficulty in hiring the right people to lead key institutions, says PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said this during an interview with Yang Razali Kassim, a senior fellow with the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.

Yang asked about the recent shake-up at Khazanah Nasional Bhd and wondered if there was some loss of talent with industry people claiming that there was a difficulty hiring the right people to lead key institutions.

But Anwar, who is poised to become Malaysia’s eighth prime minister, said he did not share such a view.

“Any prime minister who assumes office will have every right to make some changes. Most countries have that. Some (who have left) are competent people. They will survive in the private sector in their new positions.

“Khazanah is a good example. But they have hired Shahril (Ridza Ridzuan as new managing director), who is equally competent. So let him manage the affairs,” said Anwar.

The former Employees Provident Fund (EPF) chief executive officer succeeded Azman Mokhtar as the Khazanah managing director on Aug 1.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the new chairman of the sovereign wealth fund, replacing his predecessor Najib Razak, who resigned on May 31.

“If he (Shahril) is smart he can consult those people from the past because they were not all treated as enemies. None of them were charged.

“We want to make sure they get the right signal, that Khazanah should remain purely as a business entity tied to the government. But I don’t believe that because we have removed (some), therefore we don’t have the people,” Anwar said.