Focus View
Get a professional to head SPAD
FocusM team | 07 Jul 2017 00:30
Various quarters are unhappy that former Felda and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad has been appointed acting chairman of the Land Public Transport Commission or SPAD. 

They say given the controversy surrounding him at both plantation companies, the government should not have appointed him to yet another high-profile post. We can’t help agreeing.    

While Isa’s supporters may argue he is capable of heading SPAD, there is no denying there are many more suitable candidates. The commission has, after all, an important role to plan, regulate and enforce all matters relating to land public transport in the peninsula.

Isa’s critics also say he has no track record of steering any corporate organisation well. How is the government going to convince the critics?    

But to be fair, managing at the top involves more than just job knowledge. Some of the more successful CEOs had zero job knowledge when they were appointed. They were basically hired for their foresight, emotional intelligence and/or people-centric skills.
 
Regardless of Isa’s job knowledge or his people-centric skills, we cannot deny that he was embroiled in controversy towards the end of his political career. And recently, he and his wife were quizzed by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers relating to irregularities at FGV.  

SPAD faces a huge challenge of bringing the country’s public transport to the next level. Its current big task is regulating e-hailing taxi services. 

The government is also poised to embark on several rail projects costing hundreds of billions of ringgit in the next few years. Surely SPAD will be kept busy as this would need its involvement.   

While SPAD has a capable CEO in Mohd Azharuddin Mat Shah, it is also important to appoint the right chairman. If we recall, its former chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar was controversial and amongst others, was often berated by taxi drivers for not protecting their interests.  
 
The government might feel Isa is up to the job but wouldn’t it be better if the SPAD chairmanship is held by a professional?