Scrutiny GLCs, enlarge economi cake,
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
Lumpur, Wednesday) :
There must be effective scrutiny of government-linked companies (GLCs),
expansion of economic cake, meaningful restructuring of society and
eradication of poverty.
Any attempt to reduce socio-economic imbalance must be based on expanding
economic cake, instead of benefitting only a small group of people. Since
the 70s last century, we have repeatedly stressed this principle. The
Government reaffirms it, insisting on enlarging economic cake and denying
the practice of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Since 1970, the Government has implemented the New Economic Policy (NEP),
intending to restructure society and eradicate poverty, in order to avoid
one race dominating the civil service and another controlling the private
sector. Reducing the socio-economic imbalance is essential.
In the last 37 years, the whole society has been transformed with
rural-urban migration and increasing number of foreign labour.
irregularities, unjust steps and wanton waste in the implementation of NEP
have caused disaffection and discontent among all races.
Malay equity was supposed to reach at least 30% by 1990. Now, the
Government insists that it is only 19%. Some researchers maintain that it
is over 40%. Equity ownership continues to be controversial. As long as
the Government does not overcome factors that make some Malays sell their
equity when the share price is attractive, some economic measures appear
unfair and there is wanton waste, the equity target will remain elusive.
Who dominate the public sector and who control the private sector will
remain sensitive. Malaysians are amazed.
The Government goes through definite channels such as GLCs to participate
in business. Major GLCs include Tenaga Nasional Berhad
(TNB), Malayan Banking, Petronas, Mas and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TMB).
The total investment in GLCs is over RM113 billion. Some such as Mas were
managed badly, incurring big losses; the new leadership in Mas is turning
it around. National Car, Proton, is in a dilemma.
We need effective scrutiny of GLCs. The Cabinet has a High Impact
Investment Committee headed by Datuk Seri Najib. Suggestions include a
Cabinet Committee on GLCs and Parliamentary Select Committee on them.
Which is more effective?Parliamentary Select Committee is more
The Governemt keeps saying that it wants enlarged economic cake. No single
race should predominate either the public or the private
sectors. But then, we find that the top echelon of the Finance Ministry
and most government departments are dominated by one race.
The same applies to GLCs. All major appointments in government departments
and GLCs should be based on merits, not on race or
Dr Tan Seng Giaw
National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong