KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 – Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar yesterday questioned why mySalam and the government’s petrol subsidy programmes were managed by two companies with the same chairman.
The government’s petrol subsidy programme, Kad95, is managed by GHL Systems, sharing the same chairman with Great Eastern Takaful Bhd, which funds the Finance Ministry’s mySalam health protection scheme.
“I wish to raise a question on the RM25.05 million contract on ‘Kad95’ given to GHL Systems Bhd as reported by The Edge Market,” Nurul Izzah was quoted saying in Parliament while debating Budget 2020 at the committee stage yesterday.
“Why has the government not only chosen (this company) but I also learned its chairperson and this Great Eastern Takaful Bhd’s (chairperson) is the same person.
“When we focus on reducing costs and channelling the subsidy to a targeted group, we don’t want a see a mechanism that appears to increase bureaucracy and Great Eastern is seen to be exempted from rules imposed on other insurance companies,” she said, adding that this could lead to a monopoly.
According to Malaysiakini, GHL Systems chairman Kamaruddin Taib also chairs insurance company Great Eastern Takaful Bhd.
Answering Nurul Izzah’s concerns, Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah said that both the Kad95 and mySalam schemes were two different programmes not related to one another.
“Coincidentally, their (GHL’s and Great Eastern Takaful’s) chairpersons are the same man,” he was quoted saying.
Singapore-based insurance company Great Eastern gave the Malaysian government RM2 billion for mySalam — a scheme that pays the bottom 40 per cent RM8,000 lump sum cash when diagnosed with a critical illness from last January 1 — in exchange for not divesting 30 per cent of their shareholdings to local investors under Bank Negara rules.
The Malaysian government in turn pays Great Eastern the insurance premiums of mySalam beneficiaries, about RM400 million annually for five years. According to Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong, mySalam has only paid out about RM3 million as of September 30 since the scheme began last January.