However, the government's investment arm Khazanah which is entrusted in managing the GLCs is also 'deviating' from its original aim in ensuring that the GLCs helps nurture more Bumiputera companies by allocating them with some contracts and jobs.
Some GLCs are open to business competition while the rest keep the door shut to competitors. While used to be part of Bumiputera equity, the GLCs today are entirely government owned and no longer give emphasis on multiplying Bumiputera participation in its core business.
Sad to say that a GLC like Telekom Malaysia is so afraid of competition that it has to 'kill' a new highly-potential Bumi company for the same industry by shooing it away and not even willing to take it up as the one to complement its effort in wiring up the nation.
“GLCs are holdings in trust and were considered part of bumiputera equity,” said Mahathir (picture) at a press conference today after closing the Malay Economic Congress here. “Now the holdings belong to the companies concerned and they cannot be regarded as bumiputera holdings.”Perhaps, Tenaga Nasional is the best GLC to date for opening up its door to other players, especially to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
The definition of whether GLCs are considered part of Malay equity could have implications on affirmative action programmes for Malays as many Umno leaders maintain that Malay equity stands at only about 20 per cent today, which is below the target of 30 per cent set in the New Economic Policy (NEP).
If GLCs, which comprise a large chunk of the economy and also make up a significant number of the benchmark FBM KLCI index components, were at one time considered to be Malay equity, it is possible that the 30 per cent target was exceeded in the past.
State oil company Petronas is also Malaysia’s sole representative in the Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies.
However, TM is so scared of competition. If not for the government policy to award few companies with the telco licenses, TM will be the only one monopolising the business. But even with the telcos, TM is still very much slow in its duty, especially in enhancing broadband penetration for the country, notably in Sabah and Sarawak.
Sorry to say that some people are managing the GLCs to their whim and fancy. They couldn't be bothered to take new approach in helping out Bumi companies that offer better services than them.
Even the government is being over-protective in safeguarding the interest of some GLCs to the extent that it can ask the banks not to approve financial assistance or loan to any qualified Bumi company that operates a better and more-advanced service than the GLCs.
Yes, it happened and is happening again. It won't be good if I reveal but some people are aware of it.
That's how benevolent we are, right?