PASIR Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman is the latest Perikatan Nasional (PN) lawmaker to have been appointed to a key position in a government-linked company (GLC), taking over as group chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

In a statement today, the transport group’s board of directors said the appointment came into effect on May 11.

The Umno Supreme Council member is replacing former chief judge of Malaya, Zaharah Ibrahim, who relinquished her position on May 7.

“The board and the management of Prasarana Group has full confidence on the integrity and leadership of Tajuddin in steering the programme mandated to us to transform the Malaysian public transport system to world class standards,” the board said.

Tajuddin, who is a former chairman of Felcra, has also served as group managing director of United Assembly (Services) Sdn Bhd, United Straits Fuso Sdn Bhd, Automotive Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd and United Cycles Sdn Bhd.

His other corporate experience includes appointments as director at the Perak State Agricultural Development Corporation, Asia Brands Corp Bhd and Maju Perak Holdings Berhad.

Alongside Tajuddin, there are now 16 backbenchers who have been appointed to helm GLCs and statutory bodies.

Currently, the list of appointments includes eight MPs from Umno, four from PAS, and three from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Last month, PAS secretary–general and law minister Takiyuddin Hassan proposed that all MPs who had yet to hold positions in government be made heads of GLCs and government agencies.

The Kota Baru MP said he was informed that all PN lawmakers would be given positions.

The list of MPs appointed as chairman of GLCs and statutory bodies are:

Mahdzir Khalid (Umno) – Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob (Umno) – Malaysian Palm Oil Board

Ahmad Nazlan Idris (Umno) – Malaysian Rubber Board

Mohd Salim Shariff (Umno) – Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority

Tajuddin Rahman (Umno) – Prasarana Malaysia

Ramli Mohd Nor (Umno) – AmanahRaya

Jalaluddin Alias (Umno) – UDA Holdings

Hasbullah Osman (Umno) – Syarikat Perumahan Negara

Ahmad Fadhil Shaari (PAS) – Skills Development Fund Corporation

Nik Mohamed (PAS) – Lembaga Kemajuan Kelantan Selatan

Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS) – Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara

Che Alias Hamid (PAS) – Kemaman Port Authority

Nik Muhammaed Zawawi (PAS) – Farmers’ Organisation Authority

Yusuf Abd Wahab (GPS) – Construction Industry Development Board

Wilson Kumbong (GPS) – National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

Lukanisman Saudi (GPS) – Sustainable Energy Development Authority

Former education minister and Bersatu MP Dr Maszlee Malik rejected his appointment as Mara Corp advisory committee chairman, which was supposed to commence on May 15.

Aside from MPs, other appointments seen as political include MCA vice president Tan Teik Cheng heading the Penang Port Commission and Senator Razali Idris similarly heading the Development Authority of Terengannu Tengah.

Meanwhile, notable corporate figure and former cabinet minister Abdul Wahid Omar has been appointed as the non-executive chairman of Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

Wahid who once served as the President and CEO of the Malayan Banking Group, was also the minister in the prime minister’s department in charge of Economic Planning from May 2009 to June 2013

While the government has not disclosed the total number of GLCs it owns, a report by think-tank Ideas Malaysia found that there are 71 listed GLCs in 2017.

However, this number does not include unlisted companies that are controlled by the government through majority shareholding or golden shares.

These appointments have been criticised by various parties as a form of political rewards and patronage.  – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Mahdzir threatens to sue anyone linking his TNB appointment to graft

Mahdzir Khalid has instructed his lawyer to take action against any attempt to discredit or defame him. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, May 13, 2020.
C. Vignesh Kumar said the Umno man’s new appointment has given rise to criticim and slander owing to his alleged involvement in a billion-ringgit solar project when he was the education minister.

“The unfounded statements and slanders brought against Mahdzir without proper understanding of the justice system is regrettable,” said Vignesh today in a statement.

“Our client has instructed us to file defamation action or any other action deemed necessary should there be anymore attempts to discredit or defame him.”

Without naming Mahdzir, Maszlee said that “a character” who was involved in a solar project for schools in rural Sarawak had been given a position in a GLC which is “also related to energy”.

The solar project scandal came to light during the Pakatan Harapan administration and is currently the subject of a corruption trial involving the wife of former prime minister Najib Razak.

Rosmah is accused of receiving RM6.5 million in kickbacks from the project.

Maszlee was the education minister when the government was probing the affair.

Mahdzir, a key witness in the trial, had testified that he was pressured by Najib, Rosmah and her aide Rizal Mansor  to approve the RM1.25 billion deal.

Vignesh said today that his client is not the accused in the case of the solar project.

“Having represented Mahdzir in the proceedings of this case, we would like to shed some light on his alleged involvement in the trial.

“His role in the trial of the bribery case was that of a witness. He was never charged nor was there any finding of guilt against him in this case.

“Despite knowing that his testimony in court would possibly be detrimental to his political career, he chose to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in furtherance of justice and to ensure that the real perpetrators would be brought to justice.

“Pursuant to that, he had given testimony as a prosecution witness for the MACC under oath in court in February 2020,” he said.

Vignesh did not say if Mahdzir would take legal action against Maszlee over his remarks.

TNB on May 8 announced the appointment of Umno vice-president Mahdzir as its chairman.