Friday, October 22, 2021

Invest in high-impact areas, don’t compete with private sector, GLCs told

National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin says the government should strengthen the role of the private sector to drive economic growth.

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National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today said that government-linked companies (GLCs) should not compete with the private sector, in order to encourage entrepreneurial values.

The former prime minister said the role of GLCs and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) should be reevaluated as the country needs the private sector to drive economic growth.

“The role of GLCs and GLICs should be reevaluate so that the existing government assets can be optimised to help strengthen the country’s infrastructure, to boost the process of economic recovery and growth.

“They should invest in high-impact areas and explore new markets both locally and abroad,” he said when debating the 12th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat.

GLC revenue goes to the government in the form of taxes while dividends are paid to shareholders.

Well-known names include Maybank, Petronas, Telekom and CIMB.

Muhyiddin said the country’s fiscal position which has seen more than RM500 billion allocated through various stimulus packages means that the government needs to strengthen the role of the private sector through public-private sector cooperation.

He said the government should focus on strengthening the economic sectors which contribute significantly to gross domestic product in addition to providing a conducive ecosystem to boost economic recovery.

“This is because the private sector has a surplus of financial resources while the government has a deficit,” he added.

Nevertheless, Muhyiddin said the government must strengthen its financial management by improving its revenue collection system, and use existing laws to standardise the sales and services tax system.

In the meantime, he said Malaysia’s future developments should include major projects that can boost the country’s production, and provide job opportunities as well as short-term income.

“I support the government’s plan on the implementation of the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project to Johor Bahru and to the north, to be connected with the HSR from Bangkok to the Malaysia-Thailand border, with private funding involving a domestic financial consortium,” he said.

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