IDEAS successfully held a public forum on “GLC Monitor: The State of Play Since GE14” in tandem with the launch of the GLC Monitor brief on 30th October 2019 at Asian International Arbitration Centre. The forum began with IDEAS CEO Ali Salman giving his opening remarks by covering the conception and history of the GLC Monitor brief and report. He then gave a brief overview of the report, pointing out that there needs to be a more transparent approach to build a stronger voice in the reconfiguration of GLCs.
Prof. Terence started his presentation by painting to the audience a reality of political power and configuration around the GLCs in Malaysia. He states that the research shows there are no changes in the institutional reform with regards to the involvement of politicians in the GLCs. He then elaborated on the power and presence of influential key politicians in holding enormous control over the corporate sector via the GLCs and how it leaves a heavy footprint in our economic landscape by abuse of the current regime.
Moreover, Prof. Terence went on to explain the politician’s control over the GLCs would result in impairing development and defeats the original purpose of the GLCs, which was to achieve the national goals. He reiterated the fact that the implications of the current situation in the GLC world is just a ‘revamp of the old architectural system’ under the previous administration. He wrapped up by stating that the findings of the research ought to call for greater scrutiny over Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) reform agenda, specifically on how it handles the institutions that hold immense public wealth.
Following the informative presentation by Prof. Terence, a “Q & A” session involving Lau Zheng Zhou (IDEAS Research Manager), and Prof. Terence was held, moderated by Laurence Todd (IDEAS Research Director). During this session, several thought-provoking questions were raised by the audience, most notably on the anti-corruption initiative of the PH government, money and politics, party-owned enterprises (PoE), and the increasing trend of equity ownership in the hands of the foreign companies. The main message is how the public can be made more aware of the current power-play around the corporate sector that resembles the old system that is conducive to the practice of patronage.