Mahathir takes over as Khazanah chairman, 4 directors appointed

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been appointed chairman of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, his office has said in a statement.

The statement yesterday also mentioned the appointment of four directors to the state fund's board.

They include Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The appointments will take immediate effect but the managing director will be appointed at a later date, the statement added.

The managing director and the entire board of directors of Malaysia's RM157.2 billion (S$52.8 billion) sovereign fund Khazanah offered to resign last week in the biggest management shake-up at the country's state-linked companies since the new government took charge in May.

The new government led by Tun Dr Mahathir repeatedly criticised Khazanah, stating that it had deviated from its original objectives and that the executives were overpaid.

It is not known if all the resignation letters handed in by the nine board members of Khazanah have been accepted, and if any of them would be asked to stay on.

Khazanah was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir, who was also the strategic fund's first chairman when it commenced operations in 1994.

Since his dramatic win in the May 9 general election, Dr Mahathir has booted out top executives at state-linked firms and agencies.

He has also instructed his government to revamp the companies it controls.

His predecessor, Najib Razak, is now being investigated over the multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Funds from deals with Khazanah were used by the previous government to meet some of the liabilities of the debt-laden 1MDB.

REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir takes over as Khazanah chairman, 4 directors appointed'. Print Edition | Subscribe