KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today played down criticisms of him being the chairman of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, saying he is not carrying out the duties of a chief executive.
“What is wrong with me just chairing? I’m not the CEO. I’m not going to be on a RM7 million pay,” Dr Mahathir told reporters in Parliament.
His appointment, along with the appointment of Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, was criticised for going against Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to allow state-owned firms to be run by professionals, and not politicians.
Dr Mahathir said he is chairing Khazanah as he is trying to change the direction of the fund to focus on certain issues.
“We want to keep it in the right direction. There are certain issues, which I know, because I started Khazanah,” he added.
Previously, Azmin said that despite the appointments of Dr Mahathir and himself, Khazanah would still be run by professionals.
He said that the politicians on the board are only there to represent the government’s economic agenda.