PM political sec’s wife defends appointment as Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia chairman

Junaidah Kiting says claims of cronyism in her appointment as Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia chairman sullied her good name and that of her husband’s. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) chairman Junaidah Kiting, the wife of the prime minister’s political secretary, has dismissed criticisms of cronyism following her appointment to the post.

According to a Malaysiakini report, Junaidah said the Prime Minister’s Office had nothing to do with her appointment and that the criticisms were unfair as it was AIM’s top management which decided on her appointment.

AIM is a microfinance agency established to help develop female entrepreneurs.

It had reportedly been facing the axe last year for failing to comply with regulations pertaining to the establishment of subsidiaries.

However, at the end of last year, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that AIM would remain and even be expanded.

“It is not right for people to make baseless claims of cronyism in my appointment just because I am the wife of one of the prime minister’s political secretaries,” she said.

She said this in response to a report by the portal in which AIM founder Prof Sukor Kasim cried foul over her appointment.

Junaidah, a founder of a cosmetics company, said the accusations sullied her good name and that of her husband’s.

“These claims also make it seem as if my qualifications, experience and talent, which could contribute to the development of an organisation, count for nothing.

“In fact, before being appointed AIM chairman, I worked hard as a female entrepreneur and succeeded in building a brand,” she said.

Junaidah also said she would not tolerate any form of wrongdoing or corruption, and that AIM had handed over documents and given information to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the issue of the establishment of subsidiaries.

Previously, Sukor had called for AIM to return to its original objective of helping the poor as it had, in the Barisan Nasional-era, set up subsidiaries which went against this objective.

Responding to this, Junaidah denied AIM had strayed off track and said the new management was working hard to help the people through entrepreneurship.