"Why This Relentless Witch Hunt?" — Ex-PNB CEO Jalil Rasheed Questions Govt's Priorities

Jalil, who was the youngest CEO to helm PNB since it was established in 1978, says as far as he is concerned he is relieved that he left.

Cover image via Mykmu

On Thursday, 16 July, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, in a reply to a question by Bangi Member of Parliament Dr Ong Kian Ming, explained Jalil Rasheed's resignation from Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)

According to Muhyiddin, an official explanation from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) said that a person who holds a University of London (UoL) degree is not an LSE graduate.

Image via Nikkei

Jalil resigned from PNB as its president and group chief executive officer (CEO) last month amidst allegations of inconsistencies in his academic and employment background.

The former PNB CEO, however, said that he resigned as he feared for the safety of his family.

He alleged that he had been "harassed by abusive phone calls", his accounts were hacked, and images were doctored to "reflect the narrative of stories" that were being peddled.

"This level of harassment made me worry for my family's wellbeing. In the end, it was not worth the effort when my family was unfairly being dragged into this unfortunate situation," Jalil said.

"We made a big financial and family sacrifice to return to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore because I truly wanted to contribute to nation-building. Sadly, this has come to an abrupt end."

Jalil, who was the youngest CEO to helm the national fund management company in its over four decades of history, has now defended himself against what he called a "relentless witch hunt"

In the wake of his name coming up in the Dewan Rakyat, Jalil said that a lot has been said since then and questioned the "smear campaign to discredit" him especially when he has already resigned.

"Yes, I studied as an external student, that is a known fact to all my employers and friends," he said.

"Some proper checks would suggest why it's (awarded under) UoL/LSE due to the way the colleges are arranged under the university," Jalil said, adding "there are emails from the university confirming this but clearly some want to believe what they believe. Hope that clarifies."

"We need to understand the root cause of why this is an issue in the first place. I graduated 17 years ago!"

Image via Mykmu

He asked the powers that be to "move forward" as he certainly has

"In every job, background checks were conducted by third-party firms and cross-checked with past employers. Never a problem, till this. My degree was submitted to every employer, so they know," Jalil said, adding that he left the fund management company because he "did not like where things were going".

According to him, the situation has been unnecessary and as far as he is concerned he is relieved that he left.

"One must ask the question why this relentless witch hunt? Why this smear campaign to discredit? I was a professional who took my job seriously in wanting to bring professionalism to the firm," he said.

"Perhaps that focus should be the priority rather than harping on a CEO who has already resigned."

If somebody did not like me in return, could have just told me (nobody did directly), and I would have resigned. Easy. As far as I'm concerned, good riddance.
Jalil Rasheed

Meanwhile, the 14th Parliament sitting has already set multiple worrying precedents for the parliamentary procedure:

On the other hand, while there was an increase of 6.9% in the number of graduates last year, their labour force participation rate fell:

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