UMNO political appointee Reezal Merican made Matrade chairman
Kuala Lumpur, May 2 — Former Kepala Batas MP Reezal Merican Naina Merican has been appointed as the new chairman of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the national trade promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He will be replacing Hazimah Zainuddin, who served as the chairman since 2018.
Reezal, who previously served as a minister under former Prime Ministers Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Muhyiddin Yassin, lost his parliamentary seat in the Kepala Batas constituency to Perikatan Nasional’s Dr Siti Mastura Muhammad in the 2020 general election.
His appointment as the new chairman of MATRADE is part of a recent trend in which government agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs) have been headed by politicians from ruling coalitions.
Among the most recent appointments are PKR’s Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh as non-executive chairman of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, two Umno politicians as heads of Malay economic empowerment agencies Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Felcra, and PKR’s Balik Pulau MP Bakhtiar Wan Chik as head of the finance ministry-owned investment arm MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd. Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid has also been appointed as the head of Tekun Nasional.
Reezal’s appointment comes at a crucial time as the country navigates through the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. MATRADE is responsible for promoting Malaysia’s exports and facilitating international trade. As the new chairman, Reezal will play a crucial role in driving Malaysia’s trade agenda and enhancing the country’s competitiveness in the global market.