Azmin: No discussions on appointing foreigners to Khazanah board

Mohamed Azmin Ali. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali says the Khazanah Nasional board of directors has not discussed bringing in a foreigner.

Azmin, who is a board member of Khazanah, said the first board meeting held last month had discussed the need for strong representation and a professional team familiar with the issues to run and manage the board.

“(There was) no discussion about that (hiring a foreigner on the board),” he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018 “On Balance: Recalibrating Markets, Firms, Society and People” here today.

The Star recently reported that foreigners might be appointed to the board as part of the group’s strategy to tap into diverse expertise.

Asked if there would be changes in the investment mandate for Khazanah, Azmin said it needed to look at the new challenges which include separating the strategic development of Khazanah from the commercial side.

“I think some strategic development programmes need to be sped up in terms of research and development (R&D) and green investments.

“On the commercial side, we are engaging with different companies to ensure that the returns to companies are good and positive, but at the same time it is also the role of Khazanah to get involved in R&D and to help the government on strategic assets.”

On the 11th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term report review next week, Azmin said issues and development challenges would be identified and new initiatives proposed.

“We will also meet with editors from the media a day or two before the tabling of the report,” he said.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will table the report in Parliament on Oct 18.