ON April 22 this year, Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, who is currently the deputy chairman of SembCorp Marine Ltd, will be appointed chairman of its board, the executive committee and executive resource and compensation committee, as well as a member of the nominating committee.
SembCorp Marine is a unit of SembCorp Industries Ltd, which is majority-owned by Singapore’s state-controlled investment arm Temasek Holdings.
While we can be proud that a Malaysian made it to the helm of SembCorp Marine, the world’s largest rig maker, we should also ask why he is on the board of a few Singapore companies, even US-based ConocoPhillips, but is only a director of Sarawak Energy Bhd in Malaysia.
It’s damning why he hasn’t been appointed to the board of any Malaysian oil and gas company when lesser civil servants have found cushy positions in them.
Is his expertise no longer needed here in Malaysia?
Hassan, who turns 62 in October this year, was head of Petroliam Nasional Bhd from 1995 to 2010, and has a wealth of experience to offer, having propelled the state-controlled company into an oil and gas multinational corporation.
Is there political interference? Will a Malaysian company that appoints Hassan as a director be frowned upon? Is it true that Hassan had a falling-out with the Najib administration?
These are questions that may never be answered. It is unfortunate that on one hand, the country shuns some of its brightest while agencies such as TalentCorp are set up to woo Malaysians home. Is the latter mere rhetoric?This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 7, 2014.