‘I don’t see myself as a politician’

  • Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 11, 2017.


KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar (pic) said he does not see himself as a politician and left the government service after one term as he wants to avoid the risk of being asked to contest in the upcoming 14th general election.

“The reason why I wanted to only serve in the cabinet for one term was because I knew that the general election would be due by 2018. There was a risk that I would be asked to contest in the upcoming election if I continued serving my senatorship,” Abdul Wahid told an audience of 500 at the Malaysian Institute of Accountants’ 50th Anniversary Commemorative Lecture themed “Integrity: The Game Changer” yesterday.

“Clearly, I don’t see myself as a politician, and hence, I decided to return to the corporate sector after one term [as minister in the prime minister’s department],” he said.

In June 2013, Abdul Wahid was appointed as senator and subsequently as minister in the prime minister’s department responsible for the Economic Planning Unit.

“I am a trained accountant and I am good with numbers. I had a good time serving the nation, but my skills are better put in practice in the corporate sector,” he said, describing the corporate finance world as “sexy”.

“Integrity, competency and humility are three key criteria that I continue to hold and practise,” Abdul Wahid, 53, said, adding that “respects can only be earned when you show humility and support”.

Meanwhile, Abdul Wahid expects corporate earnings to perform better this year, with the economy picking up steadily.

“I am optimistic about the economy and corporate earnings this year,” he said, projecting that corporate earnings are expected to grow between 5% and 7%.