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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Wan Saiful’s PTPTN posting should go through Parliament, says DAP man

Dr Boo Cheng Hau says while there is no doubting the PPBM strategist's capabilities, it may give an impression of executive interference in a statutory body.
Former Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau says the hiring of key people in GLCs and statutory bodies must be subject to scrutiny. (File pic)
PETALING JAYA: PPBM strategist Wan Saiful Wan Jan’s appointment as chairman of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) should have gone through the Dewan Rakyat, says DAP veteran Dr Boo Cheng Hau.
He said the hiring of heads for government-linked companies (GLC) and statutory bodies like PTPTN should be scrutinised beforehand and made transparent to prevent cronyism and corruption.
“I can appreciate Wan Saiful’s talent. There’s no doubting his ability, but this may give an impression of executive interference,” Boo, a former Johor DAP chairman and Skudai state rep, told FMT.
“I am against executive interference while expertise should supersede political interests,” he added.
He said any political appointment should be scrutinised beforehand by the public, and especially by a parliamentary standing committee for key posts through formal procedure.
Likewise, he said, GLCs and statutory bodies must be operated independently, with no ties to political parties or figures, and be subject to laws and procedures to ensure transparency as well as proper checks and balances.
He said the 1MDB issue was a good example of why it was important for key posts in such bodies to be put under scrutiny.
“Just changing the government isn’t enough. We must reform the system.
“If people can see that the hiring of key people in GLCs and statutory bodies is transparent, that’s good. If it’s not transparent then it could lead to distrust among the people,” he added.
Education Minister Maszlee Malik, who is PPBM’s Simpang Renggam MP, recently defended Wan Saiful’s appointment, dismissing claims that it was a political move.
He said the ministry had tried to reach out to a few individuals, especially those with economic and financial backgrounds, to fill the position but they had declined as they did not want to bear the heavy responsibility that came with the post.
Maszlee said Wan Saiful, who is his special adviser, had then stepped forward.
Wan Saiful, the former CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), was appointed on June 18 for a two-year term as PTPTN chairman. - FMT

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