KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Datuk Kadir Jasin claimed today Permodalan Nasional Berhad chief executive Abdul Jalil Rasheed was being forced out by unnamed critics who were putting a spotlight on alleged discrepancies in his academic qualifications.
The former media adviser to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad portrayed Abdul Jalil as another victim of the Perikatan Nasional government that he said did not favourably view clean and independent professionals.
PH had sought to abolish the practice of appointing politicians into government-linked corporations (GLCs) under its short stint in power, which was discontinued when PN came to power.
“Like most other professionals appointed during the Pakatan Harapan days and removed by the Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government, Abdul Jalil had dug up the mucks of the Barisan Nasional era,” Kadir claimed in a Facebook posting.
This included unearthing deals allegedly unfavourable to PNB and its Bumiputera unitholders, he asserted.
Abdul Jalil, the fund’s youngest CEO, was also said to have stood up to several Malay tycoons, according to Kadir.
“He had done lots of cleaning up and refused to kowtow to some hotshot Malay tycoons,” Kadir chided.
“The RM300-billion investment agency is no longer a gravy train for them.”
Yesterday, rumours of Abdul Jalil’s impending removal solidified when The Edge Malaysia reported that a board meeting of PNB’s directors was expected to be called soon to deliberate the matter.
Murmurs about Abdul Jalil’s removal were first heard within business circles.
On social media, the rumours sparked uproar among PH supporters and personal friends.
Abdul Jalil, a young uprising corporate star, replaced Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad as PNB’s president and group CEO in October last year.
In a statement announcing Abdul Jalil’s appointment, PNB said the move was in line with the “government’s wish to make optimal use of Malaysian global talents and consistent with the fund’s strategic initiative to diversify its assets globally.”
Reasons for his planned removal were still unclear, but Kadir claimed the PN government could sack him on grounds that he allegedly misled the fund by providing inaccurate details about his qualifications.
“The reason used could purely be one of misrepresentation about his alma mater,” the former journalist wrote.
“He got his degree from University of London (UoL) but he allegedly reported it as the LSE.”
The London School of Economics and Politics (LSE) is one of the 17 colleges under the University of London, according to Kadir.
He claimed it was convention for students in the UK to refer to the institution as the LSE instead of the University of London, which is a unifying institution.
“If you studied at the LSE, you use LSE,” he argued.
Kadir also speculated on Abdul Jalil’s replacement, allegedly one of the deputy directors from Khazanah Berhad from the Barisan Nasional management era he claimed had been involved in selling the fund’s assets to questionable parties.
Khazanah posted RM6 billion in losses under the previous BN administration.
Malay Mail is seeking comment from Abdul Jalil on Kadir’s remarks.