Strong rumours amongst capital market punters and observers that Former Minister in-Charge of EPU Tan Srì Nor Mohamed Yakcop would be appointed Chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd. (PNB), very soon.
Nor Mohamed was dropped in the recent 13GE BN line up, but only to be given the ultra powerful Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Exco in Khazanah Holdings Bhd. That already caught so many by surprised considering that Nor Mohamed provided strong backing to the much dreaded ‘Level Four Boys’ during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s weak and scandalous administration.
It is also believed that Nor Mohamed requested for it as part of his departure from Cabinet.
This pattern re-appointment into another role is nothing new, as Prime Minister Dato’ Srì Mohd. Najib Tun Razak previously appointed has beens to Chairmanship of several Federal Government commissions and agencies. Tan Sri Syed Hamid Al-Bar was appointed to SPAD, failed KSN Tan Srì Sidek Hassan into Petronas and the more recent Dato’ Sri Ng Yen Yen into Tourism Malaysia.
Nor Mohamed isn’t someone perceived with clean hands nor of high integrity. He was part of Abrar Corp when the company acquired Munloong Bhd., utilising funds that were not authorised for them to do such acquisition and corporate maneuvre. It is believed there was a CBT case on the corporate exercise.
For the record, two of his former Political Secretaries were arrested and separately for corruption.
The current Chairman of PNB Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, 75, who has been in the chair since 1996. Nor Mohamed saw the opportunity for the post to be replaced and seizing the moment. Especially Ahmad Sarji’s retirement from BOD Sime Darby last November.
Nor Mohamed siting in the strategic post where all Federal Government investments and the largest pool of Bumiputera unit trust investments would be under his direct control. He would be the most powerful 65 years old multiple-retiree.
Never before in the history of Malaysia that a former top echelon civil servant and Cabinet Minister has so much direct strategic and integrated operational control in so many conglomerates, corporations and associate companies. This include the largest bank Maybank and conglomerate Sime Darby, on top of all the infrastructure and essential service providers.
Just to add some colour, Nor Mohamed was responsible to ‘cull’ all the hopes of the new Malay corporate giants in the likes of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli, Tan Sri Halim Saad, Tan Sri Rashid Hussain, Tan Sri Wan Azmi Hamzah and Tan Sri Azman Hashim. Currently, there is a law suit by Halim on the fraud Nor Mohamed did to kill the onetime Malay infrastructure billionaire.
A lot at stake here. The future of the all the GLC endorsed Bumiputera Commerce and Industrial Community programs and largest Bumiputera unit trust is under one single person. The whole integrated program is now sustainable to a lot of high risk exposures, including someone susceptible to graft practices.