Conflict Of interest Breeds Corruption

MAHB Annual Report_Director

Malaysia Airports, which is under the direct purview of the Ministry of Transport, has a special person sitting as one of its board of directors. 

Ahmad Fazli

In the midst of the current KLIA2 debacle where depressions in the taxiway and ponding becoming staple descriptions of the airport’s shortcomings, it is hoped that much thought has been given about the state of check and balance to curtail mistakes or improper practices, where KLIA2 is concerned.

Definition of Check and Balance: Checks and balances usually ensure that no one person or department has absolute control over decisions, and clearly defines the assigned duties. The existence of checks and balances within an organization prevents any one person or department from having too much power, and forces cooperation in completing tasks.

In the case of KLIA2, this notion is not seriously undertaken. Malaysia Airports, which is under the direct purview of the Ministry of Transport, has a special person sitting as one of its board of directors. The special person in question is the MOT’s Secretary General, Datuk Seri Long See Wool.

Not only as a Director, a post which he held since 9 September 2008. According to MAHB’s 2013 annual report, Datuk Seri Long also sits on the Board Procurement Committee and Board Risk Management Committee of MAHB.

Datuk Seri Long’s positions in MAHB have ‘conflict of interest’ written all over them!

As the Secretary General of MOT, besides formulating and implementing policies and coordinating all activities of all departments and public corporations under the ministry, Datuk Seri Long is responsible to act as an advisor to the minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, on matters pertaining to the administration of the ministry.

With his self-interest and a fat annual pay check to protect (he received RM168,799 as Director’s fee in 2013), how is it possible for Datuk Seri Long to not be biased in his advice to the minister involving problems with MAHB?

Mr. Secretary General is stated on record for taking his share. Neutrality goes out of the window, for the sake of a few bucks per year. With KLIA2 facing all the shameful problems of sinking soil and natural swimming pools on the tarmac, the rakyat as the user of the facility has to risk life and limb every time they take a flight out of the airport.

Airlines operating at KLIA2 too face dangers every day, not to mention the potential damage to assets due to the uneven, bumpy surface at the airport apron.

Stated in the Warta Kerajaan (P.U. (A) 395), a Government Officer cannot (loosely stated here for ease of reading) be involved directly or indirectly in the management or running of any commercial, agriculture or industrial companies; provide any services that translates to wages or rewards, for any company, firm or individual; or offer expert advice or report, whether for free or reward.

However, all these restrictions are deemed null and void once approval is granted by the head of department. In this case, is Datuk Seri Long’s head of department—yes, Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Hishammuddin—to be blamed for the poor oversight? Definitely, he should have thought about how bad this will reflect upon his ministry and not allow his Secretary General to partake in activities which could cause questions to be raised about his credibility.

By the way, Datuk Seri Long has a record of 16 out of 21 (76%) MAHB board meetings attended. He seems to be having so much time attending these ‘kopi and kuih’ meetings, instead of focusing on his role as the MOT Sec Gen.

Attached are details of Datuk Seri Long See Wool remuneration and attendance at MAHB board. i am also attaching a copy of Warta Kerajaan which was quoted in my article above.

MAHB Annual Report_Director

MAHB Annual Report_Directors Attendance

MAHB Annual Report_Directors Remuneration

Warta Kerajaan_Peraturan5_Bahagian2