Kuala Lumpur, 16 January 2020 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) endorses the Cabinet decision to not sell PLUS Malaysia Bhd.
IDEAS believes that this announcement will end speculations surrounding PLUS. In addition, it is imperative on the part of the government as guardian of national assets to produce and communicate a comprehensive Divestment Policy Framework in order to encourage policy clarity and certainty. The framework should also fully consider the implications of GLC reforms, which may entail asset sales, to the broader socio-economic dynamics.
According to IDEAS, since Prime Minister Tun Mahathir’s divestment talk, the ongoing speculation about sales of national assets, including PLUS before this, raises concerns of transparency and governance, and this does not inspire public confidence. IDEAS thinks this is due to an absence of a clearly laid out framework for government-linked companies (GLC) reform, which should also include divestment.
“A transparent divestment process should be in place before the government engages in privatisation”, said Ali Salman, CEO of IDEAS.
This framework should be given added emphasis and urgency in anticipation of the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025 by mid-year which will outline the long-term economic direction of the country as well as the relationship between the government and the private economy. So, the roles of government-linked companies as well as statutory bodies have to be revisited and made relevant to better address socio-economic challenges of the future.
Ali Salman shared that IDEAS will organise a series of consultative roundtable meetings with relevant stakeholders to contribute towards policy recommendations on reforming GLCs.