Monday, February 06, 2023

Can PM appoint 100 or 1000 as he wishes? Arbitrary Political appointment need to be ABOLISHED - must be based on law, and favouritism free?


Political Appointments by Prime Minister or Minister is a major problem - It is wrong that being a Prime Minister or Minister or in government itself entitles you to appoint family members, party members, etc to positions in government, government agencies and even GLCs... Just because, the BN and past government have been doing so does not make it right...

Which LAW gives Ministers power to appoint 'their people' into the government, government agencies and GLCs? 

Someone, suggested that it was the PM's prerogative - does the Constitution say this? Does any law say this. Malaysia do not give 'do as you please powers' - any power given is vide Constitution or existing laws... so Anwar should tell us the law that justifies 'political appointment' - if no, enact the law? The King's prerogative is stated in the Federal Constitution - is the PM's prerogative to appoint undefined number of family members, party members, politicians on whatever terms stated anywhere? We are not an authoritarian state but a democracy with a written Constitution.

There is no element of nepotism or cronyism in the appointment of Nurul Izzah Anwar as the senior adviser to the Prime Minister on economics and finance, says her political aide. Amir H. Ghazali said that Nurul Izzah's appointment was the prerogative of the Prime Minister and all parties must respect it, adding that a person must be judged by their credibility.

But, who is this Amir H. Ghazali - the report says 'her political aide', does this mean Nurul Izzah's political aide? He may also be Penang's PKR Information Chief?

We would like to hear from Malaysia's Attorney General on this issue. Anwar talked about her qualification, but the question is about the law giving the power to make such appointments? The selection process, etc - see MADPET statement - follow the link, as it raises issues concerning political appointment    

see earlier post Political Appointments Reforms - Nepotistic Appointment of daughter Nurul Izzah Is an Abuse of Power, Abuse of Discretion and Corrupt practice not in line with good governance(MADPET)

When the Pakatan Rakyat(now Pakatan Harapan) became government of Selangor, when I spoke to an elderly shopkeeper, he said 'what is the use? There are no real changes - as the old political appointees have simply been replaced by new political appointees of the 'new' government, the old cronies for new cronies...The people in power changed, but then nothing changes...

A similar situation happened when PH won GE14 in 2018, and again now under PM Anwar, the new government seems to be doing the same...

Ours is a nation governed by laws - Where is the law that gives Minister the power to appoint family members or others? Show me the law - you cannot simply say that is their prerogative.. ..

When it comes to public officers, there is a law that sets out the selection and appointment process...and even the employment conditions plus disciplinary mechanisms.

When a new government comes to be - the Prime Minister and Ministers already have in place a large number of public officers, with many skilled and trained officers >> so why really is there any need for them to appoint OTHERS...?

How many can PM Anwar appoint on his own? 10, 100, 1000 or more? Where does it say, i.e in which law, that the Prime Minister and/or Finance Minister -- Personally, i do not know?

This unhealthy practice in 'Political appointment' - of Nurul Izzah(PM's daughter) HIGHLIGHTED the abuse of power and/or abuse of discretion that we have FAILED to address seriously. We see these 'abuses' not just at the Federal level but also at State level

the son of Johari Abdul was being considered for appointment as Johari’s Special Tasks Officer 1.One of Anwar’s trusted confidantes, Johari is currently the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and was formerly MP for Sungai Petani.Johari must have read about the rakyat’s anger concerning Nurul Izzah’s appointment because his son Iqbal’s full name was then deleted from the government website.

 ...employment of state[Kelantan] Menteri Besar Ahmad Yakob's daughter Nor Azma Hilmah, and Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah's son Ahmad Mujahid in the agency. The former is an assistant manager in the legal and integrity department, while the latter is an assistant manager in the corporate division...of [Kelantan State Economic Development Corporation (PKINK)]

Will PM Anwar bring about the much needed REFORMS with regard to political appointments? Or will he still continue the practice...That is the question?

When we look back to the Malaysian government agencies, and GLCs including 1MDB, SRC, Lembaga Tabung Haji, etc - that suffered losses or failed - the problem could be because of 'political appointees'. Some of these 'political appointees' were paid a HIGH salary/allowance too...

How many has Anwar appointed to date ....10, 100, 1000 or more?  

Can we sue these 'political appointees' for their action/omission that caused us losses? Will the appointing Minister be vicariously liable for their action? Or will Malaysia be vicariously liable for the actions of 'political appointees' not chosen by government but an individual Minister...???

Could Nurul Izzah’s nepotistic appointment be only the tip of the iceberg?

THE recent appointment of Nurul Izzah Anwar, a former Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP who failed to defend her Permatang Pauh seat in the 15th General Election (GE15) as senior economics and finance adviser on Jan 3 raises serious issues about the practice of political appointments by the new PH-led unity government.

Human rights group Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) has likened such abuse of political appointment to that previously done by Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) governments despite talks of good governance and promised real changes and reform including transparency and accountability.

“The Prime Minister (PM) has absolute discretion in the appointment of Cabinet members as stated in the Federal Constitution, but it does not extend to the appointment of others to government positions,” MADPET co-founder Charles Hector pointed out.

Charles Hector

“The executive power lies with the Cabinet not the PM, save when the laws provide specifically that a particular discretion can be exercised solely by the PM, minister or some others.”

In political appointments to positions in government or government agencies, MADPET is of the view that certain matters need to be considered:

  • Legal basis for the appointments: What law allows for the appointment of say Nurul Izzah or other political appointees to government positions?
  • Liability for actions/omissions of political appointees: Will the said appointee be also personally liable for actions/omission especially those that causes damages/loss to Malaysia? Can they be sued?
  • Public officers or not: Will Nurul Izzah also be subject to the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) 1993 Regulations?
  • Financial implications: Even though Nurul Izzah may not be paid an allowance or salary, in the carrying out of her duties, the government will inevitably expend monies and resources. Will these monies come from a Ministry’s budget, or the government’s budget?
  • Employment/appointment contracts: Will the services of political appointees immediately end when the said particular minister or government that appointed them cease to hold power? Or will Malaysia be liable to pay termination benefits or compensation/damages for early termination of contracts?

MADPET further expressed concern that Nurul Izzah’s appointment as her father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s right-hand personnel in the Finance Ministry came so soon after the Cabinet decided that chairmen and directors on the boards of federal statutory bodies, Ministry of Finance Inc companies, government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLIC) who were political appointees will be terminated effective immediately.

“There were hopes that reforms, including possibly the end of political appointment before any new appointments is done. Unfortunately, there has been almost silence after the termination exercise of political appointees. Have new persons be appointed secretly?” asked MADPET.

“Parliament should also play their role in monitoring political appointments by the executive branch of government. Will it or the relevant Parliamentary Select Committee investigate the appointment of Nurul Izzah and other political appointee/s of this PH-led unity government?”

At a lower level, MADPET has called for the end of political appointments of kampung, kampung baru, kampung orang asli and community’s leaderships.

“These leaders and peoples’ representative must be democratically elected by the people. The rights of Malaysians to democratically elect their own local government and even senators must happen.”

“MADPET (therefore) urges the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) to investigate the nepotistic appointment of Nurul Izzah by her father as such abuse of power or discretion directly impairs on the rights of all Malaysians.”

It added that SUHAKAM could also provide recommendation for best practices in good governance on when and how such appointments can or ought to be done in a transparent, accountable and non-corrupt manner. – Feb 3, 2023 - Focus Malaysia


From Keluarga Malaysia to Keluarga PKR

What a difference one appointment has made to the credibility of the prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim.

For 25 years, with Reformasi ringing in our ears, we defied the governments of the day and demanded an end to cronyism, nepotism, corruption and abuse of power.

Then came the rushed 15th general election, the slim Pakatan Harapan win and the subsequent coalition with Umno-Baru – not ideal, but necessary. It was either that, or be ruled by Perikatan Nasional and PAS.

All went well after Anwar became prime minister. He rolled out the promised reforms, he said the right things and did the right things, foreign leaders knocked on his door and he calmed the financial markets.

But along came the clanger that he had appointed his daughter, Nurul Izzah, as his special adviser in economics and finance. “Nepotism,” cried the rakyat. He dismissed their concerns.

He had chosen not to tell us about the new post which had been specially created for Nurul Izzah and we found out only when she blabbed to a newspaper about her new job. Was the Cabinet involved in this decision?

Not only were we kept in the dark for a month, the act of hiding it from the rakyat is an insult to our intelligence, and tests our trust.

Why did Anwar omit to tell us? Did he know that we would be furious because he was backtracking on his promise of ending nepotism?

Or was he so busy trying to put Malaysia back on her feet that he forgot?

Anwar has started a dangerous trend and we fear that the floodgates will open.

That is precisely what has happened. A few days after Nurul Izzah’s shock announcement, we learned that the son of Johari Abdul was being considered for appointment as Johari’s Special Tasks Officer 1.

One of Anwar’s trusted confidantes, Johari is currently the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and was formerly MP for Sungai Petani.

Johari must have read about the rakyat’s anger concerning Nurul Izzah’s appointment because his son Iqbal’s full name was then deleted from the government website.

This was done presumably to stop probing eyes from making the connection that Iqbal was Johari’s son.

The Speaker’s reaction is laughable. He had been rattled.

When the allegation about Iqbal first broke, Johari denied that his son was employed as a special duties officer. He said that the information on the Parliament website was incorrect.

Politicians who are caught with their pants down usually say this. They will claim that they have either been misquoted, or that the information is wrong.

If the parliamentary worksite was printing wrong information, then what does the following suggest? An official email address and telephone extension number had been allocated for Iqbal.

By day two, Johari, like his boss, Anwar, was becoming more belligerent. Both men bent over backwards to justify their children’s appointments.

The rakyat is not questioning the character of the children. We are questioning the fathers’ abuse of power.

Anwar tried to redefine the meaning of nepotism. When he knew that the rakyat would probably disapprove, he said that Nurul Izzah would work for free and hold no power.

Like Mahathir, Anwar is a master political strategist.

The rakyat is fed up with political appointments which cost the rakyat a lot of money, after suffering two PMs who rewarded their loyal friends with key posts in government or GLCs, with huge salaries and perks.

When Anwar said that Nurul Izzah, a university graduate, would work for free, some anxious Malaysians backed off. They said, “That’s all right then”. The threat of nepotism disappeared.

Johari then tried to use the same tactic for his son. He told Berita Harian that the issue of nepotism did not apply to Iqbal, as he was a graduate in finance from the Multimedia University in Malacca.

Anwar and Johari both have a poor understanding of the word nepotism. They stretch it to mean whatever they want it to mean.

How disappointing that the Speaker does not protect the interests of the rakyat. Both Anwar and Johari have failed in this respect.

Johari then went on the attack saying that his son had all the necessary qualifications for the post, and had been helping him for the past 14 years. He claimed that he was paying Iqbal’s salary.

Some politicians just don’t get it, do they? Nepotism is wrong.
No one was questioning the children’s degree, their competence or their honesty.

It looks like Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Keluarga Malaysia has been abandoned and replaced by the unity government’s Keluarga PKR.

Prepare for more government posts to be occupied by sons and daughters of politicians. They do this because in the big bad world, their children will probably be rejected, as others who are more capable and more articulate will be selected. Parliament and the civil service are now a convenient dumping ground for politician’s children.

From Keluarga Malaysia to Keluarga PKR

On the east coast, we also have Keluarga PAS, with the Kelantan menteri besar and his deputy employing their children in government posts. Both deny the charge of nepotism.

Will politicians ever understand that the government of Malaysia is not a family run business or a charity? - FMT, 5/2/2023

Kelantan MB, deputy’s children’s hiring is ‘above board’ – agency
Published:  Feb 3, 2023 9:48 AM

The employment of the Kelantan menteri besar and his deputy's children in the Kelantan State Economic Development Corporation (PKINK) is not the same as the appointment of Nurul Izzah Anwar as the prime minister's senior economic and financial adviser.

According to PKINK, this was because the duo was hired through the "right channel", based on their respective qualifications.

PKINK was responding to criticisms against the employment of state Menteri Besar Ahmad Yakob's daughter Nor Azma Hilmah, and Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah's son Ahmad Mujahid in the agency. The former is an assistant manager in the legal and integrity department, while the latter is an assistant manager in the corporate division.

"The duo (Nor Azma and Ahmad Mujahid) filled up forms when PKINK advertised vacancies and applied for the job. They were then interviewed as any other candidate.

"Only when they passed the interview, they were hired. Their fathers (MB and his deputy) were not involved in the interview process at all," Utusan Malaysia quoted PKINK saying in a statement.

Netizens questioned the duo's employment at PKINK, where both Ahmad (above, left) and Amar sit on its board, after the opposition cried nepotism in Nurul Izzah's appointment.

It was reported earlier this week that Anwar, who is also the finance minister, has roped in Nurul Izzah to be his senior economic and financial adviser on a pro-bono basis.

Amid criticisms, Anwar has defended his decision, saying that the appointment is to ensure contracts and tenders are managed in an “orderly” manner. - Malaysiakini, 3/2/2023

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