Malaysiakini News

Cutting the nose to spite the face

Rais Hussin  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Malaysia has had six prime ministers, Robert Kuok is known to have said in his best-selling biography: "I know all of them". With Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the seventh prime minister, he should have added, "I know the latest one too" since the seventh is effectively the return of the fourth.

But as the works of Professor Edmund Terence Gomez and his research associates at the University of Malaya has shown through their research on Ministry of Finance Incorporation, there are seven government investment linked companies (GLICs) and 445 government-linked companies (GLCs).

Even if one removes 1MDB from one of the seven GLICs, the government of Pakatan Harapan is still left with six GLICs, and the same number of GLCs.

Together, they formed 75 per cent of the weightage of the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, as Professor Gomez argued in his opening chapter.

Not all Malaysian chief executive officers (CEOs) of GLICs or GLCs are as fortunate as Kuok, himself a patriotic Malaysian. The latter had the unique privilege - and self-designed luck to know all the prime ministers either by way of his prior association with them at Raffles College in Singapore or through his multitude of far-flung businesses.

Thus the CEOs of the GLICs or GLCs could not have known all the excesses of Najib Abdul Razak. Even Nazir Razak, the chairperson of CIMB Bank, the youngest brother of Najib, could not have known them all. Especially the transfer of about RM28 million into his account in the run-up to the 13th general election.

To be sure, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), undertook a probe on the matter. The investigation was headed by Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, who is the current BNM governor.

CIMB Bank also engaged Ernst &Young to conduct an audit while Nazir himself took leave of absence to ensure an independent review. It was also further reported that Khazanah Nasional Bhd sought independent legal advice on the issue, where the
current attorney-general (AG) Tommy Thomas, was the lead legal practitioner...

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