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Monday, August 07, 2006

Wait and See for Khairy Jamaludin

Hot story about Khairy Jamaludin in these few weeks...about his career and also his personal life...wait and see..

Let Khairy start at mid-level
Pak Pandir Baru
May 19, 04 14:11pm

The man in the news, Khairy Jamaludin, seems to be going places if the rumours about him being appointed the chief operating officer of our Khazanah Berhad hold true.

The New Straits Times is already singing the virtues of this ‘special man’ who has all he right credentials (read: PM’s son-in-law) and the right connections (read: Cambridge graduate) to run our national treasure at the ripe old age of 28 years old.

With due respect to the young man, it takes more than talent and right qualification to run Khazanah’s stable of companies which we Malaysians are the rightful shareholders. It takes the right business acumen most importantly.

Sometime I fail to understand, why is it that we Malaysians are so hung up on those who graduate from the Ivy League colleges We put them on a pedestal and let them helm large government-owned companies. It is as if they have a Midas touch to propel these companies to new heights.

The meltdown of 1997 economic crisis had shown that when push comes to shove, public funds still had to be used to prop up certain large companies in the private sector which needed to stay afloat.

Those days, the darling companies of the stock market were run by a group from the an elite school, the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. MCKK old boys, through networking, found themselves head honchos of companies both in the public and private sectors.

There must be something wrong in our education policy when our local graduates or those who have first degrees from less popular foreign universities are sidelined and are not considered for top corporate positions just because they don't have the ‘right connections’.

We Malaysians, after nearly 50 years of independence, still have an inferiority complex and think that only blue bloods with the right pedigrees and right papers from Ivy League colleges can run government companies.

But lest I be accused of being a green-eyed monster, I not totally against the idea of Khairy at Khazanah. But, please, let him start at middle management and after a few years when he has proved his mettle the people may not doubt his capabilities anymore.

History has shown that inexperienced managers who occupied key corporate positions in the 80s and the 90s had misused their positions to create personal wealth at the expense of the companies which they ran.

Eventually, minority shareholders and the taxpayers had to foot the bills of these exuberant CEOs and COOs who led expansive lifestyles not unlike those of the rich and famous who had misuse their positions and make the government-linked companies goes belly up.

Remember the story of an ex-CEO who was sued for hundreds of millions of ringgit by his ex- wife? And what about the golden boy who had to run to South Africa to expand his business and eventually married a Penthouse model?

Surely the present government does not want the same mistakes to occur again. It would be wise if the government gave other young professionals, regardless of race and creed but with the right business acumen, the opportunity to run our national stable of companies.

Let’s put a stop to having politicians or other unqualified candidates running our national business entities. They might more of a hindrances to the companies’ growth figures.


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