First published by Blake Chen on April 8 2016

PETALING JAYA: Appointing the Prime Minister as the Advisory Board chairman of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was “the stupidest idea”, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) – a think tank – said today.

In criticising the state investment arm, Ideas CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the decision to appoint Najib Razak to the post was also 1MDB’s “biggest weakness.”

“This is a person whose advice even the Agong is compelled to follow. Would it really be possible for any of the directors to decline his advice?

“When the governance structure is as ridiculous as that, we cannot stop people from making all sorts of allegations,” Wan Saiful said in a statement today.

He urged the authorities to examine if the PM had acted as a “shadow director” by wielding his power and influence as the board’s chairman, and said if they did not consider this angle, the investigation would be incomplete.

Wan Saiful also questioned how other government-linked companies (GLCs) in the country operated and if they too were managed the way 1MDB was managed.

“Would they pass the test, or would we discover a hundred more mini-1MDBs? If we now decry a debt of RM50 billion, how do we know whether there are not 100 GLCs at state and federal levels each with debts of just 1% of that?”

Wan Saiful urged for a comprehensive review of corporate entities owned by federal and state governments so that one could know “how bad things actually are when the government runs businesses.”

Yesterday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) released its report on 1MDB, stating that it found the investment fund’s practices wanting.

PAC, in its 1MDB Governance Management Control Report also asked the authorities to investigate 1MDB’s former CEO, Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and other officers.

See original post at http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/04/08/ideas-calls-for-review-of-corporate-entities-owned-by-govt/

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