Friday 02 Jun 2023
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This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly on January 9, 2023 - January 15, 2023

In its efforts to uphold governance, the new government has made it clear that there will be no political appointees in government-linked corporations (GLCs).

In relation to this, some political appointees were already notified via letters from the chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali that their services would be terminated in mid-December.

The directive covers political appointees in federal statutory bodies, Ministry of Finance (Inc) companies, GLCs and government-linked investment companies (GLICs).

The terminations triggered a debate that a blanket ban may not be a wise move, as capable talents with the interest of the nation at heart should be given a chance to serve.

Nevertheless, the public is also mindful that some political appointments in GLCs and government statutory bodies had in the past resulted in distortions and political interference.

There are also doubts that political appointees can make rational decisions, considering that they may need to take the bigger political agenda into account when making decisions.

The same concerns apply to the private sector as well. When companies are considering appointing persons with political interests as senior managers or members of the board, they should be circumspect.

Hiring a controversial person with political interests might raise eyebrows, as the investing public is likely to wonder whether the appointment is based on merit.

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