Kuala Lumpur, 29 Aug 2018- The government should set up a committee to carry out a review and assessment of government linked companies (GLCs), according to the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
This was its recommendation in the report, “Malaysian GLC Monitoring Report 2018 – The Government of Business: Various Interventions”, launched in Universiti Malaya on Monday.
The report was prepared by IDEAS senior fellow and political professor of political economics Professor Edmund Terence Gomez and his students, Thirshalar Padmanabhan, Fikri Fisal and Juwairiah Tajuddin.
Among others, the report showed the web of connections between GLCs, political players, and corporate figures.Commenting on the proposal, Gomez said GLC reforms were essential if the government wanted to implement the right policies for the country’s economic reforms.
He said there was a strong relationship between politicians and businesses at the federal and state-government level with politicians holding directorship in these GLCs. Gomez said there was a strong relationship between GLCs and the policy of affirmative action as a whole for Bumiputeras.
He said if the government wanted to pursue the Bumiputera policy they should be transparent about qualified Bumiputeras and disclose details about Bumiputera equity, which the previous government had stopped disclosing since 2008.
On the sale of government holdings in GLCs to the private sector, Gomez said it depended on the sector and needed to be carefully implemented for arge institutions.”We don’t want to have a selective distribution, which will ultimately lead to a minority control of the companies,” he said.
On state-level GLCs, Gomez said there were cases where the Chief Minister Incorporated was established, which transferred the state’s development powers from the State Economic Development Corporation to the chief minister. He questioned this practice and whether politicians should be appointed as directors of such companies, citing as examples the management of GLCs in Penang, Selangor, Johor and Kelantan.
First published in New Straits Times , 29 Aug 2018.