KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s former managing director Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim has advised the federal government to make the large government-linked companies (GLCs) directly accountable to Parliament to define their decision making under the law.
Sheriff, who is also the chairman of PLUS Malaysia Bhd, said this is important to ensure that these government-owned companies, which represent 42% of the total market capitalisation of listed companies, are managed with integrity, transparency and accountability.
“As you know Parliament is now establishing the Select Committees. I hope that one of the Select Committees will take the responsibility of getting the big GLCs to answer on their operations,” he said during a panel discussion on “The Role of GLCs in the Modern Malaysian Economy” at the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum 2019 yesterday.
“This is not something new as the chairman of the Federal Reserve has to answer to the congress three to four times every year on the conduct of the banking operations.
“As chairman of PLUS, I don’t mind being called up to give answers relating to PLUS to provide transparency,” he added.
Additionally, he said in order for GLCs to be well run, the firms should have good leadership at the board level, with professional management at the executive level.
Commenting on how the presence of GLCs will affect the private sector investment, the Employees Provident Fund head of economics and capital markets department Nurhisham Hussein said the impact of the crowding out of private investment is similar across all countries.
“Whether it is government-owned or not is not really relevant, it is about the size (of the company). Changing the ownership of the companies will not change the (crowding out) impact,” Nurhisham told reporters on the sideline of the forum.
According to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Trade Policy Paper, Malaysia ranks fifth highest in the world in terms of GLCs’ presence among large firms.