Wednesday, February 9, 2011


National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) member Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman Mohd Yusof at a forum organized by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) yesterday February 8, 2011 has said in no uncertain terms that politicians should not be allowed to hold senior positions in companies. He believes that corruption that has become synonymous with politicians can be curbed if they are not appointed to any top position in companies, notably GLC’s. Simply put, there is a direct correlation between corruption and the appointment of politicians to top position (for reasons best known to the government) in such companies.

Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman further cites the recent appointment of Tan Sri Isa Samad as Chairman of FELDA and describes the latter’s appointment as “a sad day’ for FELDA. Isa Samad, a former Negeri Sembilan MB and former cabinet minister was suspended from UMNO in 2005 for money politics (aka corruption). He resigned his cabinet post as result of the suspension and went into ‘limbo’.

Now Isa Samad is back in politics and having won the by-election in Bagan Pinang, Port Dickson last year. I am of the view that his appointment as FELDA’s Chairman by PM Najib has more to do with politics rather than overseeing the interest of FELDA and the plight of the settlers itself. I may be wrong in stating this view, but to have a person who was known to be corrupt speaks poorly of the government’s effort to stem corruption. PM Najib cannot ignore the fact that he now has a corrupt person at the helm of FELDA, and I too cannot accept that Isa Samad was a good choice. Or is Isa Samad in the eyes of PM Najib a reformed person now?

I do not wish to speak of the others that are appointed Chairman’s or Directors of GLC’s, but I am not totally convince that all of them are clean, honest and God fearing. Neither, can I deny that there are some clean, honest and God fearing politicians, some of whom are friends of mine, and they themselves have voiced their disgust and sickened by the actions of some corrupt politicians, in what they see as a betrayal of their race and religion. But I believe corruptor knows neither race nor religion. To them money and greed for wealth is all that they know.

With this clear and unambiguous statement coming from someone of the stature of Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman, I believe it has placed PM Najib in a serious dilemma. Will PM Najib take notice of Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman’s statement and act positively, or will he ignore and give it a further thought? PM Najib has to trade this very carefully. And my view is that if PM Najib is to act positively to Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman’s statement, this would make PM Najib unpopular and a sure loss of support. On the other hand, if PM Najib is to ignore and maintain his silence, all likeminded people, both within the party and ordinary Malaysian will jibe PM Najib as being a softie and a leader of no principle.

I may be seen to be hard in my position over this issue, but this is a matter that affects good governance, accountability and the integrity of our leaders in the eyes of the international community. There should be no compromise on issues of corruption, and if the government wants the country to be recognized as a country that is free of the evils of corruption, then PM Najib has no other option but to take on the challenge thrown to him by Datuk Dr. Zainal Azman.



wira said...

Once a thief, always a thief, so the saying goes...
What else is new in Malaysia?
By putting Isa Samad to helm FELDA, DSN is clearly digging his own grave.
So what? One might ask.
But it is his funeral isn't it?
The sad thing about this episode is the fact that, in the absence of an overwhelming objection coming from the general public, us included, we have unwittingly become gullible sufferers ourselves.
Aren't we all?

wira said...

Once a thief, always a thief, so the saying goes...
What else is new? In Malaysia semua boleh....Thieves, murderers and all manner of vagabonds roost freely in high place..ha.ha..
Fortunate we still have Malaysians of integrity running such institutions as EPF, PNB, LTAT, Maybank, Public Bank and a host of other GLCs and private companies..
Kalau tidak sudah lama negeri ini "down the drain".
Obviously FELDA votes is critical to UMNO for states like Pahang, Johore, N Sembilan and Perak. But why Isa Samad? What is wrong with the previous chairman?
Maybe he upset someone at high places!!
So is DSN so crazy as to dig his own grave?
Surely not..
I am sure it was a calculated move with every angle thoroughly scrutinized so that no great harm would befall the party.
The absence of public outcry over the appointment says a lot; in some sense, about our silent acceptance, but more so about our own gullibility.
Dato', remember the saying "We deserve the leaders that we ourselves put in power"!!
Apo lagi nak dikato?
Bilo nak makan gulai kuning?

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Wira,

Interesting to hear that Najib has defended his stand that the selection of politicians to head GLC's are done through a selective process. Wonder why some GLC do not make enough money?

wira said...

The answer to your question is simple enough.
It is quite obvious to laymen like us that the main prerequisite for selection to such appts is loyalty.
Loyalty to whom one might ask?
No need to be obvious because even an idiot knows the answer!
Point to me any personality, be it politcian, ex-politician, ex senior civil servant or for that matter, ex-MAF generals occupying the chair or holding a directorship of GLCs that is anti establishment?
I suggest, such people, if they exist at all, would not last long.
Just look at Musa Hitam, as a living example!!
How long do you think he would last ss Group Chairman of Sime Darby if he is not pro-govt or perform his king-maker role in UMNO?
Despite incurring losses of over RM 1 Billion, he is still there!!
Sure he was not responsible, but in any man's language, he is accountable like hell!!!
Why doesn't he resign? No need for that. Our system allows him to do so. Just look at his smug face during press conferences!!
Clealy Malaysian society as a whole do not put much emphasis on such human qualities like honour, integrity and sacrifice when selecting leaders as compared to Oxidental Societies.
Due to this inherent weakness, failed politcal personalities (to read 'pincang') like Musa Hitam, Isa Samad and many others like them continue to dominate and pollute our business landscape.
Are we actually short of honourable people?
Maybe other commentors can give some pointers.

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Wira,

Yes, I accept your views. I too would have thought that Musa Hitam and the entire board of directors would resign, but this did not occur. If it were in Japan or Korea (as you rightly described), all would have commited sucide.

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