GLCs are next in Putrajaya’s ‘cleaning process’, says Guan Eng

PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has begun initiating measures to ensure there is less interference from politicians in the affairs of government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs).

Bernama reported Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng as saying that communication had been made to the relevant agencies that all political appointees in the companies needed to leave to kick-start the “cleaning process”.

He said this was in line with the government’s promise to have transparency and good governance.

“I know there are some political appointees who (are) saying ‘I have been professional in executing my duties.’

“Yes. But, you are still active and holding (certain positions) in the party. So, you got to go. Resign,” he said.

Lim, who is PH deputy president and DAP secretary-general, said Putrajaya was trying not to have MPs on the boards of the companies.

But he said the government had a lot on its plate now and would tackle the matter “one at a time”.

“We can’t handle all the meetings,” he said, adding that this was why the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) was important.

“So, they are doing it (reform measures) and will provide their recommendation to the government,” he said.

Lim was also quoted as saying that Budget 2019, to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 2, would focus on the country’s fiscal deficit.

“For this year, the fiscal deficit can be maintained at 2.8% of gross domestic product, despite a RM300 million widening (increasing to RM40.1 billion from RM39.8 billion),” he told Bernama.

This year marks the ninth consecutive year of fiscal consolidation from a peak of 6.7% in 2009.

Lim said he was confident about improving the deficit as the government had embarked on cost-structure rationalisation for projects worth RM10 billion, which would result in achieving additional revenue.

“At the same time, we got RM5.4 billion from the increase in petrol prices, as well as better profitability from Khazanah (Nasional Bhd), Petronas and other agencies,” he said.

In its annual report, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said it expected the country’s current account balance to register a surplus of 2% to 3% of Gross National Income (GNI) for 2018.