Malaysia not having difficulty hiring right people to lead key institutions, says Anwar

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

SINGAPORE: Malaysia is not having difficulty hiring the right people to lead key institutions, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s in-waiting Prime Minister.

Anwar said this to Yang Razali Kassim, Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore “In Conversation With Anwar Ibrahim.”

This is part of an RSIS series on Malaysia’s 14th general election and its aftermath.

Yang Razali posted a scenario to Anwar, saying: “The road to New Malaysia has come with some collateral damage. For example in the economy, there’s been a shake-up of Khazanah, an important institution as a sovereign wealth fund. As a result, it is said, there’s been some loss of talent. Industry people say they have difficulty hiring the right people to lead key institutions. How do you think this can be addressed?

Anwar response was “I did not share that view.”

“Any prime minister who assumes office will have every right to make some changes. Most countries have that. Some (who have left) are competent people. They will survive in the private sector in their new positions.

“Khazanah is a good example. But they have replaced with (Datuk) Shahril (Ridza Ridzuan as new managing director) who is equally competent. So let him manage the affairs,” said Anwar.

Former Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Chief Shahril assumed his new role as the managing director of Khazanah replacing Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar on Aug 1.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the new chairman of the sovereign wealth fund, replacing his predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who resigned on May 31.

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“If he (Shahril) is smart he can consult those people from the past because they were not all treated as enemies. None of them were charged.

“We want to make sure they get the right signal, that Khazanah should remain purely as a business entity tied to the government. But I don’t believe that because we have removed (some), therefore we don’t have the people. The Tan Sris and the top guy are there,” Anwar stressed.

On Malaysia’s National Day on Aug 31, Anwar received Yang Razali at his office near Kuala Lumpur.

The full version of “In Conversation With Anwar Ibrahim” was released at http://www.rsis.edu.sg.

RSIS was officially inaugurated on Jan 1, 2007 with its goal to become a leading research and graduate teaching institution in strategic and international affairs in the Asia Pacific. – Bernama