PM: Golden shares in GLCs will be scrapped if necessary

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will do away with holding golden shares in government-linked companies (GLCs) if necessary, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, it will only do this in the selected companies after conducting a proper study on each case.

“For example, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is not doing what it promised to do. In such a case, the government needs to take over,” he told reporters after attending Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) Integrity Forum 2020 here today.

Speaking in an earlier panel discussion, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the government should move away from having golden shares in GLCs.

This he said, would enable the company boards to be free to search for their ideal candidates for top managing positions like CEO.

“Because of the power of golden shares, the government can make its own decision to appoint its candidates,” he added.

Shahril said the concept of the government’s golden shares in the past was due to the lack of framework or ineffective regulations.

But with today’s improved regulators in industries such as telecommunications, energy and aviation, the government he felt, should do away with having golden shares.

Meanwhile, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Tunku Alizakri Alias said there is a need for regulators to understand the “game” they are playing in the industry.

“One of the challenges we encountered was dealing with one of two regulators who did not understand the businesses that EPF was doing due to the extreme complexity of the business.

“If they tell us what to do when they do not even understand the business, it will be creating a bigger mess,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, a member of the Economic Action Council (EAC), Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, said there is no “one size fits all” approach or regulation for over 1,000 companies in Malaysia.

He also called for improved regulations in the country so that accountability in governance could be achieved through transparency. – Jan 14, 2020 Bernama

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