KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The Youth and Sports Ministry has removed nine prominent individuals consisting of former board members, chairmen and directors, minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman revealed today.
He said those axed were political appointees under the previous administration, with some holding leadership positions in political parties, specifically Umno.
“They are board members, chairmen, directors of respective bodies under the ministry, like Perbadanan Padang Golf Subang, the Institute of Youth Research Malaysia (Iyres), Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia, and the National Sports Institute.
“Directly or not, they played a role in moving the institutions, and I sent them a thank you note mid last month before removing them,” he told a press conference, without elaborating on the breakdown of positions of the individuals axed.
He was asked if heads of departments would be sacked after it was revealed the ministry was still awarding projects directly to contractors.
The axing was said to be part of a ministry overhaul after the ministry ranked eighth out of 10 most corrupt federal ministries.
“Because they were political appointees, there needs to be a cleansing. When we do a cleansing, we cannot be replacing them with politicians or members of a political party from my side,” he explained.
Syed Saddiq added that potential replacements would be those from the relevant fields, and with adequate experience.
“I want to make sure their replacement is not a politician with a position, if possible we want corporate figures, people who are experienced, former athletes, who have served the country for a long time.
“Even if they might have a political view, that’s up to them, but they are experts in their field and not put there only because they are political leaders,” he said.
When asked if more leaders could potentially be axed in the coming weeks, Syed Saddiq did not rule it out.
“We have to wait for the Auditor-General’s report on the SEA Games coming out soon.
“After that we would have to hear the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) view and their risk management report before considering the next course of action, so I cannot confirm if anymore will be removed at this point,” he said.