To keep graft in check, politicians should not be appointed to run government-linked companies, said Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission advisory board chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said politicians holding GLC positions may face conflict of interest leading to abuse of power and responsibility.
In an interview with Bernama, he said: “Many appointments are made for political reasons. If you are appointed to a position with unanimous power, there are decisions you have to make on a daily basis, weekly, monthly and whatever.
“And in making these decisions, there will be some demands made on you because of your connections, your relatives, your friends and also your cronies.”
Tunku Abdul Aziz said this trend of abusing power because of conflict of interest has been happening since long ago, and may be stopped if the appointment for a top post in a GLC was conducted with “proper selection and screening”.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said the selection process must include going through the candidate’s background and track record.
He said there were always people out there who wanted special treatment, to have the advantage over their competitors.
“They don’t care how it is done (as long as they get the job)… This is where corruption starts.”
Proper recruitment procedures and techniques could help achieve transparency and accountability, which are essential for top management, Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
“We can make corruption unprofitable business by making it more difficult to put your hand in the till.”
He believes that corruption is now taking place at the operating level.
“Ministers cannot sign or award contracts. But directors in some departments can do it. This is where abuse of power takes place,” he said.
“If you have no power, you cannot abuse it. Civil servants have a lot more power than their political masters and ministers (in awarding contracts),” he said.
He noted that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission was now catching a lot more “big fish” than before the appointment of Dzulkifli Ahmad as the new head in July last year.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said MACC is a dedicated professional team focusing on the root causes of corruption while catching the crooks.