50 NGOs urge Pakatan Harapan to reform GLCs

PH seems to be failing in fulfilling their promises - Photo from Google

By Nadhirah Sofea Rashid

Much expectations have come with the change of the government and the rakyat is becoming increasingly frustrated as promised reforms are not taking place.

Many are feeling that the new government seems to have forgotten about the pledges in their manifesto for the last general election (GE14).

One of the promises Pakatan Harapan seems to have broken is political appointments for high positions in any government-linked companies (GLCs).

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said before GE14 that GLCs have failed to serve their original purpose due to political appointments. 

However after winning power, the political appointments are still being practiced and PH is now under fire from a coalition of 50 NGOs.

Representing the NGOs, National Human Rights Society president Datuk S. Ambiga said they understood that certain pledges may need more time to execute but reforming GLCs should not be one of them.

“I know that there are some things in the manifesto that may be difficult to achieve in a short time and we can forgive them for delaying some of these things. But this is not one of them.

“This reform is easy to do and can be immediately done. We will be very unforgiving of PH where this is concerned.

“We will not forgive a breach of this item in their manifesto because there is no reason they cannot comply with it,” said Ambiga.

“Our request is very simple - set up a task force. The task force that we are asking for is something minimal. It can be done immediately and if they don’t do it, I would like an explanation form PH - why can’t they fulfil this simple request we are making,” she added. 

Ambiga also announced the formation of the GLC Reform Cluster, which consist the 50 NGOs including Ideas, C4, G25, Hakam, Gabungan Pembebasan Akademik, the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham), among others. 

Meanwhile, Cynthia Gabriel from the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said more political appointments to GLCs were being made without any transparency in the appointment process.

“We only see that Umno people are being removed and replaced with another set of their (PH) people.”

However, the ruling coalition has been recently called out over the appointment of several family members, associates and party members to senior positions in GLCs.