Monday, May 31, 2021

Sacking Tajuddin puts politicians at GLC under spotlight

The termination of Dato Tajuddin Abdul Rahman as Prasarana Chairman led Sinar Harian to make into frontpage the issue of GLC positions as political reward.

Coincidently, this blog's previous posting here touched on SC's recent code of governance for PLC to discourage appointment of politicians on the Board of Director.

Sinar's focus is MARA, but the issue of political appointment currently relates with Prasarana, Putra LRT mishap, Malaysia Airports Berhad. and Aerotrain tender.

It so happened that like Prasarana, Malaysia Airports Berhad replaced a professional namely, a judge with an active politician. 

Prasarana immediately announced replacing Tajuddin with a retired judge.

The sacking of fellow UMNO Supreme Council member puts pressure on Dato Dr Zambery Kader as Malaysia Airport need to make decisions on their 7 years search for an Aerotrain and deliver his words on Subang Airport.

Tajuddin sacking diverted attention on the seriousness of the recent LRT "kissing" accident. 

Where Anthony Loke's former Special Officer was diplomatic, Petra Train Executive Director, Mark Staib bluntly said the LRT mishap is not driver's fault.

The Bombadier train may have a system failure. And, Bombadier is believed to be in pole position for MAHB's aerotrain tender. It puts Zambery under the spotlight.

Zambery is a seasoned politician and is not expected to buy any assurance from any of his member of the Board of Directors. If anything goes wrong, they could be the last to back and defend him.

The real culprit and root cause could be the PM himself, but it is politicians like himself who will bear the consequences.

If Zambery makes a decision for Bombardier when the LRT mishap turned out to be a system failure, the pressure on him as politician will be multiple to that of other corporate person, be them an accountant or civil servant.

There will be many claims of "I told you so". 

Zambery should be aware of views such as that of Anas bin Abd Jalil who anticipated a possible technical problem behind the LRT mishap could be rooted in the slash of maintainance budget by the Ministry of Finance.

So Tajuddin sacking could be mere diversion from the real problem. It could also be political and part of the downside of politicians holding PLC and GLC positions.

It does not underscore the risk of compromising corporate governance and public accountability of the organisations by having active politicians as member of BOD of PLC and GLC. 

The referred Edge article in the posting here is of the view that active politicians in position of power and influence will likely put higher priority to appeasing their political superior, staying within their political narrative, and safeguarding their political interest than that of the company and stakeholders.

This leads to the article that is the frontpage issue of Sunday Sinar Harian entitled "Orang politik didakwa kuasai MARA" where names are mentioned.

This blog's response is "I told you so". MARA and MARA Corp have been forewarned.

It is not so much the issue of having politicians on the Board of Directors or Trustees or Councils of government organisation. For social programs, political will of politicians are certainly needed to make plans happen. 

It is when active politicians take up positions in executive roles to run companies where compromises creeps in. 

Now that it has transcended the blogosphere into public sphere, Minister Dato Dr Latiff Ahmad, MARA management, MARA Council and MARA Corp should handle and address the issues raised professionally.

The last they should do is to seek the help of the business interest driven tendency of current ANSARA or politics for politics sake groups such as Chegu Bard and Malaysia Now portal.

There is no leak. Its water under the bridge. When there are many victims, its already an open secret. More so, it is documented and for media taking to investigate. 

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