PETALING JAYA: The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) is unhappy with Subang MP Wong Chen’s explanation for becoming the non-executive chairman of Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV).
Wong is also the chairman of the parliamentary select committee on international relations and trade.
Following his appointment on Tuesday, Wong said he will not chair MDV board meetings on risk management, remuneration, audit, financing and investment.
But C4’s CEO, Pushpan Murugiah, said it is a “serious dereliction” of duty, because the MDV chairman should be chairing “important meetings” to protect the company’s interests.
“By him (Wong) not sitting and chairing these meetings, isn’t he abdicating his responsibility as the chairman? Isn’t this a serious dereliction of his duty?” Pushpan told FMT.
He said the Pakatan Harapan MP should have just declined the MDV position, if he was already aware of the conflict of interest due to his parliamentary responsibilities.
On Tuesday, Wong announced his appointment as the non-executive chairman of MDV, a government-owned enterprise providing financing facilities to the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
The appointment raised eyebrows, considering his position on the select committee.
Pushpan said although Wong will not chair board meetings on certain issues, it did not remove the possibility of a conflict of interest as Wong can “hold sway” over decisions taken by the board without chairing such meetings.
“In the spirit of transparency and accountability, can he also share with us his remuneration for this post?” he said.
Earlier, electoral watchdog Bersih also queried Wong’s appointment, saying that although he was qualified, it seemed like Malaysia had such a dearth of talent that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had no choice but to pick him.
Bersih said economy minister Rafizi Ramli’s recent announcement for qualified candidates to apply to be CEOs of Teraju and Peneraju should be emulated.
It said this should become the new procedure for GLC appointments.