GLCs should be answerable to Dewan Rakyat

The select committees should have the jurisdiction to monitor GLCs and their operations

by SHAZNI ONG & SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS

GOVERNMENT-LINKED companies (GLCs) should be answerable to the Dewan Rakyat and be accountable for all the corporate directions and strategies, as part of the current administration campaign for total transparency in administrations and operations.

Former Khazanah Nasional Bhd MD Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim said the select committees that are currently being formed at the Parliament should have the jurisdiction to monitor the GLCs and their operations.

“This is something that the US is doing in Congress. Even the chairman of the US Federal Reserve has to appear before the Congress two or three times a year and address any query on the conduct of banking operations.

“As chairman of PLUS (Malaysia Bhd), I don’t mind being called up to the parliamentary select committee to explain what PLUS does, and what its objectives are. I think we should have that kind of transparency,” he told the audience during a session at the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Mohd Sheriff said GLCs need good leadership at the board level, supported by professional management teams at the executive level.

In December 2018, the Dewan Rakyat was informed of the establishment of six new select committees, which would see a reshuffle in the existing committees and the establishment of the Caucus on Reforms and Governance.

Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said the six new select committees were for the consideration of bills; budget; defence and home affairs; rights and gender equality; states and federal relations and major public appointments.

Mohd Sheriff, however, declined to comment on whether the government intends to inject funds into PLUS in a move to abolish tolls at all its expressways.

He added that many issues need to be considered before the abolishment of tolls — including those along the highways owned by PLUS — could materialise.

Last month, the government said an independent consultant has been appointed to conduct a study on tolled roads. People familiar with the matter said Ernst & Young Malaysia (E&Y) has been appointed to conduct the study.

PLUS holds a total of five concessions — Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Bhd, Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd, Linkedua (M) Bhd, Konsortium Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim Sdn Bhd and Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd. All of PLUS’ concessions end in December 2038.