Monday, September 20, 2021

Now, Zahid’s men ramp up pressure on GLC heads

Efforts are underway to reach hundreds of Umno members spread across GLCs nationwide to get them to resign from their posts.

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Umno leaders appointed as heads and board members of GLCs have been urged to quit their posts immediately, as Ahmad Zahid Hamidi seeks to accelerate his party’s clean break from the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, MalaysiaNow has learnt.

A source in Umno spoke of frantic efforts by Zahid’s men to personally get in touch with hundreds of Umno members spread across GLCs nationwide at both the federal and state levels.

“He is hoping that this time, there will be a domino effect after the failure to get Umno MPs, assemblymen and division leaders to resign from their GLC positions following Jazlan’s move,” the source told MalaysiaNow, referring to Kelantan Umno chief Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub who resigned as chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board in January.

Since late last year, Zahid and former president Najib Razak have been urging Umno members to quit all GLC positions as part of their efforts to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Umno had earlier said that all of its GLC appointees would quit their posts by August.

Positions in GLCs ensure ready perks and allowances, and have been used by successive governments to consolidate their position and control in the economic sectors.

Under the previous Barisan Nasional government, then-prime minister Najib had vast control over who got to be in GLCs through his portfolio in the finance ministry, which wields influence over corporate bodies.

The government’s corporate control saw minor tweaks made under the Pakatan Harapan government despite promises of reforms, with control of GLCs largely transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and dozens of individuals linked to key politicians appointed to senior posts.

Through the government’s fund management company Permodalan Nasional Bhd and sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional, both under the control of the PMO, the government owns some of the largest and most profitable corporate entities including banks, utility and oil and gas companies, as well as institutions in the lucrative healthcare sector.

Major federal GLCs headed by Umno at the moment include UDA Holding (Jalaluddin Alias), Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (Hasbullah Osman), Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (Shahidan Kassim), Amanah Raya Bhd (Ramli Mohd Nor), Tenaga Nasional (Mahdzir Khalid), Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority, Risda (Salim Sharif), Malaysian Rubber Board (Ahmad Nazlan Idris), Boustead Holding (Mohamed Khaled Nordin) and MyIPO (Mohamad Alamin).

Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was removed from Prasarana Malaysia in May following a controversial press conference.

“Together, these companies control billions of ringgit and tens of thousands of employees. There is no guarantee that these individuals could be reappointed in these companies should there be a change of government,” the Umno source told MalaysiaNow.

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