JOHOR BARU, Jan 22 — A former Johor DAP leader today has criticised the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for cronyism, following the appointment of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia’s (AIM) new chairman who is the wife of the prime minister’s political secretary.
Dr Boo Cheng Hau, in describing the news of the appointment as “amazing”, urged the PH leadership to adhere to its promise that no political figures, their political allies or relatives should ever be appointed to head or be part of a government-linked corporation’s (GLC) management.
“Those who are already appointed should relinquish their appointments on the grounds of advocating genuine reforms and avoiding ‘conflict of interest’.
“GLCs’ top management should be headed and manned by non-political professionals in the transitional process of restructuring them until the realisation of an anti-monopoly legislation and a free, race-blind market is created,” said Dr Boo in a statement on his Facebook page today.
The DAP grassroots leader was commenting on cronyism allegations related to Junaidah Kiting, the wife of the prime minister’s political secretary, Abu Bakar Yahya, following her appointment to the post. He, however, did not name her in his statement.
AIM is a microfinance agency established to help develop female entrepreneurs.
Dr Boo, formerly Johor DAP chief, claimed that PH under the present leadership makes no effort to reform the government, but instead allows the previous Barisan Nasional (BN)/Umno ways to manifest themselves into the new PH culture and policies.
He said cronyism now enters PH in sophisticated forms and alleged the ruling coalition’s top leaders are plagued by the “Denial Syndrome”, and allow the previous administration’s old political culture to plague its own rank-and-file.
“The admittance of cronyism is the first step to reform our economic model, and PH’s top leadership has shown less than a satisfactory commitment to stamping out cronyism,” said the 54-year-old former Skudai assemblyman.
Earlier, according to a Malaysiakini report, Junaidah said the Prime Minister’s Office had nothing to do with her appointment and that the criticisms of her were unfair as it was AIM’s top management that had decided on her appointment.
“It is not right for people to make baseless claims of cronyism in my appointment just because I am the wife of one of the prime minister’s political secretaries,” she said in response to a report by the portal in which AIM founder Prof Sukor Kasim cried foul over her appointment.
Junaidah, a founder of the De’ Wajah cosmetics company, said the accusations of cronyism tainted her good name and that of her husband’s.