C4 Center is surprised over the move made by PTPTN Chairman, Wan Saiful Wan Jan contributing PTPTN money to Lembaga Zakat Negeri Kedah yesterday.
Just not long ago, PTPTN Policy and Operations Deputy Chief Executive, Mastura Mohd Khalid told the media that PTPTN had borrowed money from the bank to fund 2.9 million students and the total bank loan has amounted to RM51.2 billion, with a very long repayment period. This is the amount that PTPTN used as capital to continuously provide loans to students. And it was also reported that the funds are currently short of RM39 billion ringgit.
We are also concerned about the management of Lembaga Zakat that according to a study done by Norma Saad, Professor, Department of Economics, Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, IIUM and Naziruddin Abdullah, Professor, UniKL Business School “Is Zakat Capable of Alleviating Poverty?An Analysis on the Distribution of Zakat Fund in Malaysia”, the biggest amount of expenditure goes to operations and management cost as opposed to the poor.
This move begs the questions: Why Kedah in particular? Is Lembaga Zakat Negeri Kedah running short of funds as compared to other states? Is this related to Bersatu AGM that is happening tomorrow?
PTPTN funds are meant to help students pursue their higher education.
This is clearly a case of conflict of interest and abuse of power arising from political appointments tasked with dealing with government-linked funds.
In September this year, Wan Saiful made a RM100k contribution to Perlis flood victims under the PTPTN CSR umbrella. Wan Saiful has also been recently appointed as Setiausaha Bersatu, Perlis. In light of the foregoing, what is the justification for this move which clearly raises the issue of conflict of interest?
There has been a systematic conflict of interest perpetuated by the former BN Government through political appointments in government agencies and GLCs. We note with concern the practice has continued to flourish under the current Pakatan Harapan government as seen in this PTPTN and other issues.
It is imperative for the PH Government to address this issue immediately in moving towards Malaysia Baharu and in implementing its institutional reform agenda. It is important to note that the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto makes several references to appointments to key positions that should be based on merit instead of political links.
C4 Center demands the Pakatan Harapan Government:
- To immediately stop political appointments which will cause conflict of interest and abuse of power
- To put in place a clear policy or law to prevent conflict of interest and abuse of power
Cynthia Gabriel (Ms), Executive Director, C4 Center