KUALA LUMPUR – December 22, 2017: Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar has debunked the claim that government-linked companies (GLCs) are suffering from poor governance and harming the country’s economy.
Wahid, a former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, described the criticisms contained in a policy paper written by economist Professor Jayant Menon of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, as misleading.
Menon had in the paper published on Monday argued that GLCs were hurting the economy by way of incurring a total of RM85.51 billion worth of government bailouts over 36 years.
In justifying his rebuttal, Wahid said GLCs have been doing well after the 2001-2015 transformation programme, particularly in terms of better performance, good governance and nation building.
“I was personally involved in it and if you look at the outcome, it has been tremendous,” said Wahid after declaring this year’s income distribution for PNB’s Bumiputra-only unit trust scheme.
Wahid further explained that the market capitalisation of the top 20 GLCs (G-20) has improved by 188 per cent following the transformation.
“In terms of dividend paid to shareholders (of the G-20), that has mounted to RM108 billion over the 11-year period,” he said .
He added that GLCs were in fact the main driving force of the improvement of corporate governance in the stock market.
“Recently there was an award for corporate governance and seven out of the ten companies that won the award were GLCs.
“So, I think that stressed the point that GLCs, instead of having poor governance, are actually at the forefront in terms of best practices in corporate governance,” said Wahid.
GLCs, he added, have also played a significant role in nation building, especially in terms of socio-economic developm.
In this respect they provide equitable employment opportunities and business opportunities for Bumiputras.
“But beyond that, they have also done a lot of CSR (corporate social responsibility) in investing in general education, technical and vocational education and training.
“So I hope the people will not be swayed by the paper (Menon’s policy paper),” said Wahid.