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Another ruling MP appointed to GLC

A statement from MDEC cites Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh's 25 years at Telekom Malaysia as proof of his experience in the telecommunications field.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
PKR's Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh. Photo: Bernama
PKR's Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh. Photo: Bernama

PKR's Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh has been named as the non-executive chairman of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the latest in a series of political appointments to government-linked companies (GLCs) and agencies.

MDEC is a GLC under the communications and digital ministry headed by PKR's Fahmi Fadzil.

A statement from MDEC said his appointment took effect on April 1.

It also said Syed Ibrahim had "extensive experience in the field of telecommunications", having worked at Telekom Malaysia for 25 years. 

"He is experienced in customer relationship management, project management, marketing and trade sales, segmentation and analysis as well as the management of information technology and systems. His last position was assistant general manager," it said.

The government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been criticised of late over politically linked appointments to government agencies and GLCs.

These include the appointments of two Umno politicians as the heads of powerful government bodies in charge of Bumiputera economic development: Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki at Majlis Amanah Rakyat or Mara, and Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub at Felcra.

Meanwhile, PKR’s Balik Pulau MP Bakhtiar Wan Chik was named to head finance ministry-owned investment arm MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd, and Amanah's Husam Musa appointed as chairman of Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd.

Just last month, it was reported that PKR's Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid was appointed to head Tekun Nasional, an agency tasked with providing financing facilities to Bumiputera businesses under the entrepreneur development and cooperatives ministry.

It was also reported that Amanah MP Sany Hamzan had been named as Abdullah's deputy, while former Upko president Bernard Dompok was appointed as chairman of SME Corp, also under the same ministry.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke defended the series of appointments, saying they did not involve GLCs listed in Bursa Malaysia.

"Those appointed now are not at such companies, but at statutory bodies, authorities and so on. They are regulatory bodies and do not involve business and so on," Loke had said.

This drew a sharp response from a veteran diplomat who hit out in a recent commentary at the spate of political appointments involving those aligned with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"Anthony Loke might jump through hoops to justify Zahid’s appalling appointments but the people are not so easily fooled. All they see are conniving and unprincipled politicians who can’t be trusted to honour their promises and live up to their own ideals," said former Malaysian ambassador Dennis Ignatius.

Meanwhile, a civil society activist warned that appointing ruling MPs to head government agencies would compromise their parliamentary duties to monitor the executive.

"With such appointments, they may receive additional monies, benefits and powers, over and above their MPs' allowances," said rights activist Charles Hector.

"If similar practices of the then pre-GE14 Barisan Nasional regime are maintained, including political appointment of MPs and politicians, with no real reforms, then the people may be forced to look elsewhere for change," he added.