Najib, Johari, Irwan still on Khazanah’s board

Former PM is also still the chairman of PNB

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR

Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak is still Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s board member and the sovereign wealth fund has not received any instruction from the new administration over the former prime minister’s (PM) status, according to a source.

Besides the former PM, former Minister of Finance II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and former Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah  are still listed as the sovereign wealth fund’s board members.

Najib’s position on the Khazanah’s board is almost untenable as the appointment was based on his previous position as the country’s PM or finance minister. He is also still the chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB).

Najib’s Barisan Nasional coalition was demolished at the recent 14th General Election. Johari, who contested the Titiwangsa parliamentary seat, was also defeated by Pakatan Harapan’s Rina Harun, who is now the rural development minister.

Flamboyant Mohd Irwan was transferred to the Public Service Department effective May 11 till June 13, 2018. He was also barred from executing his Treasury secretary general duties.

Khazanah is owned by the Ministry of Finance Inc.

Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the fund’s chairman when he was made the PM in 2003, while the current PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Khazanah’s first chairman when the fund was established in 1994.

An industry source told The Malaysian Reserve that until the shareholders decide on the fund’s next chairman, the trio “technically” still hold their respective positions in Khazanah.

“It is up to the PM or the new finance minister to decide. Khazanah has not received any instruction at this point in time,” the source said.

Mohd Irwan also sits on the board of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) and Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd. He is also the chairman of Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).

A check on the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia’s website showed his name has been omitted. Only the title secretary general of Treasury remains as board chairman.

Besides the shocking election lost, Najib is embroiled in the investigations related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), and the fund’s former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Najib has denied any wrong-doing. Former Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali had also cleared the former PM of any wrongdoing.

Last Friday, the police announced that RM114 million had been found in 35 of the 72 bags recovered from the Pavilion Residences unit linked to Najib.

Khazanah has also been dragged into the 1MDB debacle. It was confirmed last week that Khazanah’s RM1.2 billion payment in March 2017 in exchange for redeemable shares were used to pay some of 1MDB’s debt to International Petroleum Investment Co.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed that the redemption of redeemable cumulative convertible preference shares (RCCPS) by Khazanah worth RM1.199 billion was used to service 1MDB’s debt.

Khazanah had said it had no control over the usage of the RCCPS once it had been redeemed.

The country’s new administration also confirmed that 1MDB was insolvent and has no means to make good its debts, which are all guaranteed by the government. The government intends to honour 1MDB’s debt obligation.