Mat Sabu defends appointees, says elites don’t know about paddy fields

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Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu has defended his decision to appoint five politicians to head agencies under his ministry’s purview.

He said the decision had been made after taking into consideration their community involvement and standing.

“Their involvement in the community is the main (element); we can’t choose someone who is an elite because they need to know about matters in the paddy fields, with fisherfolk.


“So, their record in society was key,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian today.

The five political appointees announced yesterday were Amanah’s Mahfuz Omar (Farmers’ Organisation Authority) Faiz Fadzil (Fisheries Development Authority) Aminuddin Zulkipli (Farmers’ Agriculture Marketing Authority) PKR’s Dr Azman Ismail (Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute), and DAP’s Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali (Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board).

Mohamad, who is also Amanah president, is quoted as saying the appointments were not politically motivated and were done after consultation with top leadership.

He also denied it was a political reward for them, saying that several among them had been defeated in last year’s general election.

He added that as chairpersons, they would be working together with experts in carrying out their duties.

Bersih has criticised the five appointments as an abuse of trust. – Malaysiakini