Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Isn't being a lawmaker already a full-time job?

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YOURSAY | 'Wong Kah Woh's promise to recuse himself from PAC doesn't negate perceived conflict of interest.'

Wong Kah Woh vows to recuse self from PAC if Seda probed

Prudent: It doesn’t matter if the newly-appointed Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) chairperson Wong Kah Woh promises to recuse himself from the Public Accounts Committee in the case of a probe.

Wong’s very presence in the PAC, and being in a government agency under the purview of the PAC – especially given the baggage of the previous regime – is a conflict of interest.

Politicians’ promises to recuse themselves from any role should be taken with a pinch of salt. Wong should either resign from PAC or Seda.

He should hold only one post on one side of the camp, so to speak, but not both at the same time, with each being on opposite sides.

Furthermore, recusing himself if PAC starts a probe on Seda won't clear the perception of conflict of interest.

The other members of the PAC could well be more lenient or even close one eye due to one of their members being involved.

So please resign one of the posts to avoid any perception of conflict of interest – which in this case, is a reasonable perception.

JW: “There is no conflict of interest unless Seda is a subject matter of (PAC) proceedings, in which case I will recuse myself from the proceedings,” Wong says.

What on earth are you talking about, Wong? Do you listen to what comes out of your mouth? And if you don’t see a problem with what you said, then you just don't understand what conflict of interest actually is.

And to Pakatan Harapan, this is the best you can do with this appointment? Hopeless.

The Wakandan: Holding many posts can be a conflict of interest. Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is a good example of this. He was the prime minister, finance minister, and 1MDB chairperson. And see what happened.

However, what could be the relation in holding posts in both PAC and Seda? After all, PAC consists of both the opposition and government members.

Unless, of course, if Seda, like 1MDB, is under investigation. Then, obviously, Wong has to recuse himself.

But to prevent him from holding the post would be quite unfair to him. He should be given a chance to play his role.

Idiocracy: Seda is under the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, which is helmed by Wong’s DAP colleague, Yeo Bee Yin?

Then the ministry will have trouble being seen as independent and acting in the interest of the public.

PB: Actually Wong, it would be better if you resigned from the PAC outright. It is one of the hallmarks of the Third World that people often hold too many portfolios.

Bersih: PAC’s Wong risks becoming beholden with appointment to gov’t agency

Hafidz Baharom: Stop appointing politicians. Go find technocrats. It's fine if they’re party members, but leave the MPs and assemblypersons off the list.

Harapan seems adamant in repeating the same thing BN did, after promising not to. It makes things awkward for everyone.

BRoch: How can Wong perform his duties as Ipoh Timur MP well when he is holding multiple posts?

Being an MP is a full-time job, no? Just like employees of most companies, we are not allowed to work for somebody else. The same concept applies here. Spread the wealth and let other qualified people apply for the job.

A law should be enacted to have a cap on the salary lawmakers can take from the government and GLCs. Then see if they still want to take up multiple posts.

Gulengtu: With the appointment of Wong to Seda, DAP has lost its credibility. Putting themselves above the people. They are no different from MCA. How sad.

Mano: We chose a government that would do things differently. This government still caters to politicians, when these politicians keep saying they are going to serve the rakyat.

Hope Wong comes to his senses and stands up to what he would have done if a BN lawmaker had done this previously. Wong would have protested vehemently. The whole of DAP would have.

Anonymous_1560865429524: Same as BN. Treating these positions as candy given out to reward political minions.

Anonymous_4056: Harapan should heed the objections to Wong’s appointment. Is this the promised reform?

Harapan is fast becoming like its predecessor, the BN. Please listen to the people. Do not appoint politicians to helm GLCs or statutory bodies.

Gerard Lourdesamy: If they are clean and untainted, why not? It is a fallacy to assume that civil servants appointed to such posts would be fair, independent and accountable.

Sorry to say, but a majority of our public servants have been imbued with the Umno-BN narrative over the last 61 years. They cannot see beyond race, religion and loyalty to the party in power.

GLC appointments should be a mixed bag, consisting of professionals, businessmen, civil servants and politicians. They would have their own merits. We should not be taking a 'one size fits all' approach.

Muruga: PAC should be free from those on the gravy train, or it becomes beholden to politicians who appointed them.

The Analyser: I thought that “to become beholden” was the purpose of the appointment. After all, isn’t that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s method of control and manipulation?

It seems that with every passing day, Mahathir further weakens Harapan’s control over the government. And every day that passes, his sycophants increase in number and power.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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