PETALING JAYA: Clear guidelines are needed on how government-linked companies should perform and to determine if they are to pursue strategic investments or maximise returns, an MP told the government today.
Johari Ghani (BN-Titiwangsa), a former second finance minister, said an inconsistent approach to GLCs could erode investor confidence and affect the performance of the government-linked companies.
“This inconsistency extends to issues like Bumiputera ownership in companies and projects, which could impede project progress,” he said during the budget debate at the Dewan Rakyat.
Johari said property developer SP Setia Bhd, owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, encountered a hurdle when attempting to sell a plot of land to another company as part of its mixed development plan.
The government did not approve the sale because the buyer was not a Bumiputera. “But the land is not Bumiputera-owned,” Johari said.
However, Boustead Holdings Bhd, owned by the armed forces fund, was allowed to dispose of its hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It was sold to Singapore-listed Hotel Royal Ltd for a reduced price of RM177.3 million.
“This is inconsistent, so investors are confused. It is not that I do not agree with the intention to manage the land (in the SP Setia deal), but if it is for development, and there is a buyer that provides a strategic collaboration, why not?” said Johari.