PM: Malaysia Inc not altruism on Putrajaya’s part

Azril Annuar
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during the 9th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur September 4, 2018. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reiterated that his Pakatan Harapan government aims to revive the glory days of “Malaysia Incorporated”.

Speaking at the 9th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition 2018, the prime minister said he wants the government and corporate sector to work together for the country’s benefit.

“This government encourages business. We believe in Malaysia Inc. We believe in the government and private sector working together. It isn't altruistic on the part of the government. If we help you make more money it's because 26 per cent of the money you make belongs to the government.

“If you are thinking of going into business, no business is as good as the government. We don't invest a single sen but 26 per cent of your profit is ours,” the 93-year-old said, jokingly.

“So this government promises to return to the days when we had Malaysia Inc, where the whole country was regarded as a big corporation and the government and private sector worked together to make profit for this national corporation.”

He also stressed on the importance of research and development, pointing out that through the efforts of Malaysian rubber scientists, the nation has created better strains of rubber trees and harvesting methods when compared to Brazil, the country of the plant’s origin.

Dr Mahathir recalled his visit to Brazil where he said their methods of planting and extracting rubber lagged behind Malaysia’s, adding that despite having bigger trees, Brazil’s rubber yield was also lower.

“We now produce rubber gloves and not just that but catheters and other rubber products. All these things are needed by the world and there is a big opportunity for Malaysia to keep on producing rubber and inventing new usage for rubber.

“I believe rubber is also used in earthquake-proof buildings. As you can see research shows more usage for rubber and research on more plants can have more usage for plants grown in this country,” he added.

Malaysia Incorporated was a concept introduced by Dr Mahathir in the early 1980s during his first time as prime minister, under the Barisan Nasional coalition, to modernise the country by forging a symbiotic relationship and cooperation between the public and private sectors.

The concept took after Japan's economic development model featuring mutual beneficial co-operative public-private partnerships and targeted state investments.

Under this concept, the government and the civil service work jointly to drive private sector as an economic engine of growth.

The nation is managed as a corporate or business entity and is jointly owned by the public and private sector with stakeholders working closely together to achieve greater economic gains and development.

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