PUTRAJAYA: The Public Accounts Committee has issued a stern rebuke to government-linked companies (GLCs), reminding them to uphold corporate governance practices.
PAC chairman Datuk Dr Nur Jazlan Mohamed took Khazanah Nasional to task for failing to adhere to the best practices of corporate governance as it had played a role in the Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia share swap deal which involved the people’s money.
The swap deal in 2011 had resulted in both carriers being slapped with a penalty of RM10 million each by the Malaysian Competition Commission last week for infringing laws under the Competition Act 2010.
Nur Jazlan, after meeting Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang for a closed-door meeting yesterday, said Khazanah and other GLCs should not rely solely on consultants.
“I regret that MAS was fined RM10 million for breaching the anti-monopoly act. This should not have happened and Khazanah’s management cannot wash its hands off this.”
He also questioned how the top management could have agreed to the deal.
“This is a reminder to all GLCs, especially Khazanah, that they must not rely too much on consultants because they will prioritise profits and ignore the laws.
“However, I hope in this issue, Khazanah chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak must not be blamed because I believe that he was not given the right advice,” Nur Jazlan said.
He also lauded the move to appoint Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop as Khazanah’s deputy chairman and executive committee chairman as it showed that the government wanted a check-and-balance on the goings-on in the company.
Nur Jazlan, who is Pulai member of parliament, said PAC wanted to scrutinise the investments that had been made by Khazanah through reports so that the committee could determine whether they had made a profit or loss for the government.
He also said PAC would focus on 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) investments by reviewing all its investment portfolios as they were constantly manipulated by the opposition and created a negative perception of the government.
He said loans managed by 1MDB, which were guaranteed by the government, must be used wisely as they involved government expenditure.
Nur Jazlan suggested that the BestariNet project, spearheaded by the Education Ministry, be given to a GLC such as Telekom Malaysia as it had a proper and complete communication infrastructure.
He said Telekom would be able to develop BestariNet further through its national broadband initiative as it had also implemented the development of the nation’s high-speed broadband project.
The reason for awarding the BestariNet project to a GLC, he said, was because many complaints had been received, among which was that there was a lack of proper infrastructure to provide virtual learning to students.
“As PAC chairman, I am requesting that the government, especially the Education Ministry, inform us of the rationale behind awarding the BestariNet project to a private company.” – New Straits Times