MoF saves RM1m yearly on new CEO salaries

pic by BERNAMA

THE appointment of new top executives at 18 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the Finance Ministry (MoF) has cut government spending by RM1.04 million per year on salaries, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture).

The basic salaries of nine CEOs have been adjusted following Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) takeover of the federal seat, with five lowered and four raised to a higher figure. The wages of nine other SOE chiefs have remained the same, Lim said.

“The total amount of savings (from this revision) is RM87,050 per month or RM1.04 million a year,” Lim told the Dewan Rakyat in response to a question by Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (PAS-Kuala Nerus) yesterday.

Lim did not state the details of the wage adjustments, but listed all 18 corporations under MoF with new CEOs. They include the Employees Provident Fund, the Retirement Fund Inc, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd and Felcra Bhd, among others.

The latest appointment being at construction firm PBLT Sdn Bhd on Nov 1 this year.

Lim said there have been no political appointments at companies and government-linked investment companies under the ministry, except for Khazanah where Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali sit on the board.

“However, both the PM and economic affairs minister do not receive any annual allowance or board meeting allowances for their roles in Khazanah,” he said.

The change of government in May last year had triggered a major shake-up in many government-linked funds and top companies on Bursa Malaysia. Management inefficiencies, political leanings and corruption claims were cited as reasons for the exodus.

Government-linked companies (GLCs) were also subjected to criticisms for the remuneration paid to its CEOs, prompting Putrajaya to take steps to revise the amount paid to CEOs at GLCs. Lim said the government, however, is mindful that salaries must be competitive to attract the best talents.

“To ensure that we appoint CEOs who are competent and experienced to lead GLCs, the government has to consider competitive wages to entice individuals that meet the criteria. It has to be viewed holistically,” Lim said.

He said the government is looking to streamline the appointment criteria at GLCs based on standards set out in a 2006 government blue book on improved management performance.

Lim said the federal administration will also consider the appointment of candidates from all races to helm top posts at GLCs.

“Yes, many are Malays, but this matter will be evaluated to find a balance. At the moment, we have an example in the Inland Revenue Board CEO Datuk Seri Sabin Samitah who is from Sabah,” Lim said.