Directors of MoF Companies Told to Go

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The delay in the changes in the composition of the boards of directors of companies under the Ministry of Finance Inc (MoF Inc) has come to an end, and heads are expected to roll from more than 100 firms.

  • Most of the companies headed by politicians or retired civil servants
  • Board members comprise a mix of professionals and political appointees.
  • Upcoming replacements, but boards will only have two or three directors to maintain the quorum

Sources said clear directions have come straight from Putrajaya for all board members of the companies, except those held by government officers, to resign from their positions.

“This directive covers more than 100 companies under the MoF and includes the likes of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) and Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

“The boards will only have two or three directors at best to maintain the quorum,” said a source.

Some of the notable companies under MoF Inc are KTMB, Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPNB).

Most of these companies are headed by politicians or retired civil servants and their board members comprise a mixture of professionals and political appointments.

Former Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah chairs MRL, which is mandated to undertake the railway project from Gombak to Kota Baru.

The chairman of IWK is former Dewan Negara speaker Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang while Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, the former MP of Langkawi, heads KTMB.

MoF Inc has more than 150 companies under its jurisdiction, with direct major shareholdings in 68 companies.

The latest development will lead to more than 700 vacancies in the MoF Inc-owned companies, which have large boards.

However, it is unlikely that all board positions will be filled up.

“There will be some replacements but not all board positions would be filled up,” a source said.

The instruction to resign comes after 11 weeks of a change in the government.

Previously, there were subtle messages for directors on board government-linked companies and those under MoF Inc to resign.

There was a significant amount of pussyfooting going around behind the scenes, as many of the board members were waiting for instructions to be told to leave.

The developments in Khazanah Nasional Bhd last week led to clear directions for all the appointees to resign.

Last Tuesday, nine board members of Khazanah tendered their undated resignation letters, which was subsequently accepted by the government.

The nine included managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, who left the position which he had held since 2004.

On Monday, the government appointed five board members to the board of Khazanah, which included Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Khazanah was among the companies under the ownership of MoF Inc.

However, under the new government structure, it would likely come under the Prime Minister’s Office.

In addition, several entities are being reviewed to be dissolved under the new government structure.

Apart from MoF Inc, they included companies leading the development in the southern, northern, eastern and Sabah corridors. – The Star