KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Supreme Council member Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff has been appointed as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) new chairman.

Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah confirmed the news in a statement today, saying Rais will replace Datuk Mathialakan Chelliah and the appointment will last for a period of two years effective from June 15.

“Rais is an entrepreneur and experienced in business, information technology and communications,” said Saifuddin. 

“I’m convinced that Rais will assume responsibility with a dedication to develop the country’s digital economy,” he added. 

With a background in business administration, Rais currently leads the think tank EMIR Research Sdn Bhd as its president and chief executive.

This appointment came less than a month after Rais, previously a Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad loyalist, joined a significant number of Bersatu’s top leadership insisting that the party has left Pakatan Harapan defying the now disputed party chairman.

In a statement in May, most of its Supreme Council members and several state chapter leaders, stressed the resolution made during a council meeting on February 23 had decided that the party should leave PH and form a new alliance with other political parties.

Just earlier today, Dr Mahathir sarcastically suggested the founding of a new political party to enrich Malays who have yet to receive positions and financial perks, in an apparent dig at Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Earlier this week, Dr Mahathir had claimed that many of the current Cabinet were appointed if they accepted offers to support the current administration under Muhyiddin, suggesting that such candidates were asked what they wished for before their appointments and that some positions were created in return for their support.