Dr Mahathir is new chairman of Khazanah

By MARK RAO / Pic By TMR

The government has announced the new board members at Khazanah Nasional Bhd, including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the chairman as Putrajaya moves to “clear the deck” at the strategic investment fund.

The four new board members are Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, former Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) president and CEO Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) deputy governor Dr Sukhdave Singh and investment banker Goh Ching Yin.

The new board members were announced by the Prime Minister’s Department yesterday.

The appointments are effective immediately.

The appointment of the MD at the state-owned strategic investment fund will be made at a later date, according to the statement.

Changes at Khazanah’s decision-making board had been widely expected after nine members offered their resignations last week. They are Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya, Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim, Tan Sri Andrew Sheng Len Tao, Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda, Datuk Dr Nirmala Menon and Yeo Kar Peng.

The exit of the former board members allowed the government to “clear the deck and restructure the fund”, said Dr Mahathir who welcomed the resignation of the old board members.

“This action of clearing the deck will allow restructuring as our policies are now different. While we believe in paying good salaries, we cannot all the time base it on commercial rates.

“We would rather focus on rewarding with good bonuses tied to performance as some companies may not perform as they should,” the prime minister (PM) was reported as saying.

Mohamed Azmin was appointed as affairs minister after Pakatan Harapan’s historic victory on May 9. He was Selangor’s former mentri besar. Mohd Hassan is a member of the Council of Eminent Persons. He was Petronas president and CEO when Dr Mahathir was Malaysia’s fourth PM.

Sukhdave served BNM for over 31 years before retiring at the end of last year. Goh is currently chairman of Maybank Asset Management Group Bhd.

The focus now is on who will replace Azman, who had served the fund since June 1, 2004. A few names have been reported to succeed him.

Among them are Deutsche Bank’s country manager for Malaysia Datuk Yusof Annuar Yaacob and Datuk Mohd Zafer Mohd Hashim, who was formerly the president and MD of Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd. The other is Datuk Charon Wardini Mokhzani, who is the former MD of Khazanah Research Institute.