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REFSA Reflections: Episode 3 – The GLC Dilemma

Produced by REFSA

The heavy use of indirect, non-fiscal interventions in the government’s economic response to COVID-19 raises interesting questions relating to government-linked Companies (GLC’s).

Joining our REFSA Reflections third episode is Mr. Jalil Rasheed, Former CEO of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), as we unpack more on the nature of GLCs, its role in the nation-building agenda and how they fit into the fabric of our economy.

Some of the topics we touch upon in the show: 

  • What is a GLC, a GLIC? Can we consider them as one whole, or are there meaningful differences between different entities, and if so what are they, and why do they matter? 
  • How do GLC’s relate to the government and the public? Who should they be accountable to, should they be run like a private company, or are there special considerations? 
  • Do GLC’s have a wider responsibility towards stakeholders (beyond just shareholders), and why? How can they fulfil these wider responsibilities without compromising good governance?
  • How can GLC’s best contribute to the overall growth of the economy, and to shared prosperity for the whole of society? Can they be considered tools of economic policy, and if so what are the opportunities and limitations?

At the very end, we recommended the following books for further reading: 

  • Neither Civil Nor Servant, the Philip Yeo Story” by Peh Shing Huei—This authorised biography of the former chairman of Singapore’s Economic Development Board gives a fantastic insight into the country’s approach to economic development and creating ecosystems. 
  • Minister of Finance Incorporated” by Edmund Terence Gomez e.a.—A bible of sorts to understand GLCs in Malaysia, shining a light on all the entities set up and how they are controlled. 
  • The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths” by Mariana Mazzucato—Not specifically related to GLC’s, but a seminal analysis on the state as a catalyst of economic activity, which forces us to reassess its role in growth and development.

Catch this episode (50 minutes) on the following platforms:

Apple Podcasts: click here

Spotify: click here

Google Podcasts: click here


About REFSA Reflections

The Director’s Commentary for REFSA’s research, a new podcast series on the economy, delving deeper and going behind the scenes into our ideas, publications, and positions.

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