PETALING JAYA | A GLC Act needs to be enacted for greater checks and balances in government-linked companies, said Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez (pic).

Prof Edmund, a newly appointed member of the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission’s Consultation and Prevention of Corruption Panel, said GLCs should be compelled to publicly disclose annual financial reports.

He said an independent commission for GLCs needs to be set up to monitor the way in which the institutions are run and how the funds are managed.

The commission should also monitor the processes and rationale behind the appointments of board of directors, he said, adding reasons for removal of directors should also be publicly disclosed, he said.

Prof Edmund said it was important to check elements of patronage, to ensure positions were not offered for the sake of consolidating political power.

Prof Edmund said in other parts of the world, serving MPs were not appointed as board of directors of GLCs.

He expressed surprise that many MPs were appointed as GLC directors.

“However, the enforcement of Section 17 A (of the MACC Act 2009) can serve as a deterrent for politicians holding positions in GLC,” he said.

Expressing pleasant suprise over his appointment to the MACC panel of consultation and corruption prevention, Prof Edmund said he could use it as a platform to give feedback on how the GLC system operates in Malaysia.

“Until today, even the previous Pakatan Harapan government could not quantify the size of GLC in Malaysia.

“It is a shame that even the government are clueless over the exact number of GLCs in the country.

“There are also state level GLCs and subsidiaries,” he said.

Dr Edmund said it was best to close down unnecessary GLCs, and keep only the strategic ones such as Khazanah Nasional and Permodalan Nasional Bhd.

Of the top 10 public listed companies in Malaysia, eight were GLCs, he noted.

He said GLCs could continue banking on strategic sectors such as utility, oil and gas, and banking.

“There is no need for GLCs to be involved in the construction, trading and services sectors. The government should invest in the technology sector,” he said.