Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Question of Competence

Can you believe it? According to a Star report today, the Terengganu Menteri Besar:
  1. Appointed "an ambulance driver as a director of a Terengganu Government-linked company"

  2. Appointed two former primary school teachers as directors in a subsidiary company and state-owned hospital in Kuantan, Pahang.
And I'm sure there are plenty more of such appointments where they come from. Reasons? According to the Terengganu State Assembly Backbenchers Club Chairman
He (Ahmad) is attempting to Kijalnise (referring to Mentri Besar’s Kijal constituency) the state administration by roping in his supporters and appointing them to helm executive positions in state-owned agencies regardless of whether they are qualified or not.
In other words, just plain cronyism at its ugliest.

Even in Selangor, when our former Menteri Besar, Mohd Khir Toyo when on luxury junkets to Disneyland which cost a state-owned agency RM1.7 million(!) on the pretext of a "study trip" - it could only be done because such cronies were appointed to these companies. You might remember that the Finance Manager for Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB) which funded the excursion was the Puteri UMNO Selangor Chief, Nora Azmin Radzuan.

No, we do not want to appoint the managers and directors of our state government agencies based on cronyism, and we must avoid it at all cost. If not, at some point of time, our Pakatan Rakyat governments will just become a useless mirror image of the Barisan Nasional counterparts.

Despite a whole lot of complaints and pressures from certain parties to appoint party-based political leaders to key positions within the state government agencies and corporations, I'm happy to note that the Penang state government has resisted all such pressures from within and without.

The so-called high profile appointments made to date over at InvestPenang (IP), Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and Penang Global Tourism Sdn Bhd (PGT) has been based purely on competence and the candidates' professional credentials. None of the appointees were even DAP members, much less DAP leaders. In fact, Datuk Lee Kah Choon was at the point of appointment still a member of Gerakan! This only serves to prove that the Penang state government values competence more than anything else, even political affiliation.

Race isn't even an issue as Pn Wan Zailena bt Mohd Noordin, a human resource specialist was appointed as the General Manager of IP last year while a creative industry vetaran Mr Ong Thiam Hiong is appointed to be the General Manager of PGT. Most recently, Mr Julian Candiah who has held top management positions in some of the global investment banks was appointed to be the Deputy General Manager 1 of PDC.

We want our agencies to be managed using global best practices, and we can only do so by employing the best for the job (or at the very least, the best we can get for what we can afford to pay). And the Penang state government should certainly remain steadfast in its policies even if it creates resentment among some leaders within Pakatan Rakyat who may be more interested in dishing out political patronage.


Anonymous said...

Yb TP.

Not long ago I heard someone who owns the "palatial palace" was a gate keeper

In this country nothing surprising. Everything can happen

P/s Maybe that driver got a phd?

Anonymous said...


Hee Yit Fong was a former clerk too.

Hope DAP can screen through ALL candidates profile properly for each and every one of their background and qualifications regardless.


Anonymous said...

YB, nothing is impossible and everything is possible and that is UMNO/BN.
It is all about power and to remain in power and that is UMNO/BN. That is why they control Malaysia for 50 over years.
Wonderfool Malaysia.!!!

Anonymous said...


Is DAP considering breaking out from Pakatan since it is another UMNO/BN ?

Khun Pana aka johanssm said...

It is their "tradition".
They did not bother to ask their Malacca CM to step down.
And the latest was Pahang have to pay over 60 million lawsuit.
Umno did not bother to ask for their resignations.
But thanks heaven , that the citizens are more aware by now.
Therefore the PR must have very strict code of conducts.
Out by the first offense.
We want to have a clean government and PR have the potentials.

Anonymous said...

you think the ambulance driver can't be smarter than your Hee Haw? He has the brains but not the opportunity, maybe.

Anonymous said...

How can we blame DAP for getting a clerk like Eat Foong to stand for election. Why don't the one who complains stand for election? To be straight as a ADUN, life can be tough as everyone would like to inivite you and you have to pay. Also people will ask money from you. That is why Eat Foong goes for money from Pimp Minister and same with most BN politicians. As LKY said if we want able politicains, we must pay them abit more.

Calvin Ngan said...

agree with anonymous. to prevent corruption, we must pay more, but with condition that the economy improves within 2 to 3 years under their leadership.

True Fiction said...

I always read newspapers and blogs with a pinch of salt. Afterall, unless it came from the horse's mouth, the report may "mis-quoted" or "mis-reported".

Or perhaps the report may have been so crafted to elicit a reaction or effect.

While at face value it does not look credible that a driver and school teachers would have the skills or experience to to the job, how do you know? You have not met them before, have you?

So let's reserve judgement for now.

Afterall, as observed by some of the contributors here, a clerk was elected to be a law maker in Perak. But then again, it was reported she was a clerk and I have not met her......

mut said...

There is a big difference if you contest an election as it is the electorate that will choose you not an individual's prerogative.

It is mind boggling that some commentors missed/chose to miss that point.

If that ambulance driver became a director, what on earth could he contribute (and everyone should be asking that question). Does he even know what an annual return is? Rules for meetings?

More pertinently, isn't there someone more qualified and able? I think the answer is yes, just the political alignment of the other candidates is not acceptable to the MB.

Fatimah Zuhri said...


1. What is wrong with an ambulance driver and a teacher?

2. They may have hidden talents..who knows?

3. What is the difference with a certain MP who claimed he had a succesful business/company prior to join the election but actually the company recorded losses?

4. My point is to give them a chance first. If they do not perform then you can whack them.

5. But whacking and trashing them even before they start their work is just like punching below the belt.

6. And here i thought that PR is all about morals and stuff....

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fatimah. Why do you think driver drives and teacher teaches only ? Lessons can be learnt and taught. If you are willing to learn, you learn fast.As I said earlier if given the opportunity the person can do wonders. Let's not look down upon other people.I am not sure we can carry out the jobs if thrown unto us.