KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 2018 : Government-linked companies (GLCs) need to be tweaked but with a forward-looking strategy and not step backwards, says Khairy Jamaluddin following news that the Board of Directors (BoD) of the government’s strategic investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, had offered to resign.
The Rembau Member of Parliament (MP) said he was not surprised by the move taken by the Khazanah board.
“Not surprising. Apparently PM (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed) has yet to even grant the MD (managing director) an appointment at the office. BoD meeting cannot be called. Even with upcoming changes, I hope (the) present GLC model will be continued. GLC transformation is a success story. Need tweaks for sure,” he said.
Khairy pointed out that for instance, GLCs have, in some sectors, crowded out private business.
“This was a long-standing issue. That was probably the spirit of PM’s comments that GLCs deviated from the Bumiputera agenda. So tweak needed there,” he said in a string of tweets today.
But, Khazanah’s role as the government’s strategic investment arm must continue, added the MP.
It is a very different entity from what it was at the end of Dr Mahathir’s first tenure as Prime Minister between 1981 and 2003, where it was essentially a holding entity for government’s stake in companies.
“No strategic role,” he said, adding that post Dr Mahathir’s first premiership, Khazanah was transformed from just a holding entity to a strategic investment arm with a mandate to not just increase asset value but also make investments into sectors that would benefit the nation.
“Khazanah recruited the best and brightest Malaysians to do this.
“It would be a shame to dismantle everything that has been built only to replace it with the business mode of the 1990s.
“My fear: GLCs will be broken up and flogged off to a new set of 1990-esque businessmen. We all know how that ended,” Khairy added. – Bernama