Unfortunately for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, it is people like Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar who gives his Government a bad name.
Instead of playing his role effectively to attract investments to Malaysia, he seems to be doing things in the contrary.
One example is his recent statement that Malaysia is going to face a shortage of electricity in 2012. This statement, plucked from the air I suppose, has far-reaching effect. It can instil fear among foreign investors who are seeking to have long-term investments in Malaysia.
At the Regional Eisenhower Fellowship Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week, Azman had said the "structural problems" in the power supply industry could cause the nation to experience a power shortage in 2012, and the collapse of national electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
In actual fact, the current 42 per cent reserve will rise to 47% next year with the commissioning of a new independent power producer (IPP) in Jimah, Negri Sembilan.
It would have been wiser for Azman to have checked with the Energy Commission before making such a statement.
If he is so worried about TNB, he should get it to reduce operating costs and act like a company which needs to practise financial prudence. But this is the same fellow who approved the 100% salary increase for TNB CEO Dato' Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. Apparently, despite the public uproar, Che Khalib still managed to get a 50% pay rise. That, I have to check.
I congratulate Dato' Shaziman Abu Mansor, the Minister of Energy, Water and Communication for taking Azmman to task.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.