林德宜:另一个即将失败的大马计划(上)

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9月27日在国会提呈的第十二大马计划,如果按照提出的方式实施,将形成打击社会经济增长的自我伤害。这也会导致马来西亚发展落后的风险。由首相依斯迈沙比里提呈的第十二大马计划里,充满了所谓的“带来颠覆性变化”、“促进”、“推动”等字眼的政策和计划。我们未能辨别出符合这些描述的具体政策和计划,对此计划深感失望.

 

林德宜:另一个即将失败的大马计划(上)

 

发布於 2021年10月22日 06時• 最後更新 1天前 • 非同凡想 • 評論: 林德宜

 

9月27日在国会提呈的第十二大马计划,如果按照提出的方式实施,将形成打击社会经济增长的自我伤害。这也会导致马来西亚发展落后的风险。

由首相依斯迈沙比里提呈的第十二大马计划里,充满了所谓的“带来颠覆性变化”、“促进”、“推动”等字眼的政策和计划。

然而,对计划细读了解后,我和许多人都在whatsapp群组中,不是在印刷媒体中,发表了对此计划深感失望的评论,因为我们未能辨别出符合这些描述的具体政策和计划。

在本篇评论中,我促请政府应注意三个长期存在的关键问题,并需要一套完全不同的政策举措,才能让第十二大马计划实现其要使马来西亚成为具有包容性和可持续增长的高收入国家目标。

首先,近日大马货运代理协会联合总会(FMFF)披露政府试图对该行业进行重组的尝试,就是一个很好的事件背景。要现有非土著公司让出51%股权给土著的措施,可被形容为“光天化日明抢”和经典的“巫统主义”。许多方面都认为,这将会进一步破坏我国的投资环境、供应链效率和生产力的一个因素。

这措施也违反了我国第二任首相敦拉萨在国会提呈新经济政策时的庄严承诺:即土著30%股权的目标,不是夺取自现有者,而是通过增长来实现。

违宪的倒退政

我认为,要非土著公司让出51%股权给土著的措施,不仅是一种倒退的政策,更违反了联邦宪法第153条文,这是可被提上法庭诉讼的。

第十二大马计划报告里指,在1970年制定的新经济政策下,土著占企业股权的30%目标尚未实现,这是个错误的讯息。在过去的15年,我就一直公开质疑这一数据,迄今为止,政府未能对我的批评,或其他关注此课题专家学者的批评做出回应。

政府依然继续的忽视报告里的矛盾数据;也没有提供可信的统计数据来支持其论述

要搞清楚事实,我们别忘了统计局曾做过一项全面性的股权数据调查,这是可用于鉴定股权的价值和种族比率的。可是,这数据至今被归类为“敏感”数据,并且未发布过。

由于,政府至今没有采取行动来纠正计算股权价值的基础,这也降低了所发布的统计数据可信度。当前存在严重缺陷的数据,在任何情况下都不应该成为重要决策来源。

可靠的数据是支持循证政策的基本要求。如果要让民众相信政府施政是公平公正的,就必须透明化以种族为导向的股权数据,甚至经济和社会其他方面的数据。

联公司改

立法者也不应忘了经济学里的一个现实。第十二大马计划提到土著股权的减少,其实是源于土著本身脱售股权所致的。然而,当局却没有考量这因素。同时,脱售股权后的收益,通常也用于投资其他资产,例如房地产、金融工具等。此外,许多精英似乎已将他们快速获得的财富转移到海外。

如果要进一步确认,只需看看近日潘多拉文件揭露的资本外逃估计,这也使马来西亚成为资本外流最大的国家之一。

第十二大马计划也忽略了官联公司是改革的关键领域。这不仅是官联公司的作用无处不在,同时在世界各国中,我国国有企业在大企业占比中,也是最高的。官联公司在经济领域占主导地位的负面影响是众所周知的,在此就无需赘述。

如今,我国官联公司占所有上市公司资本的40%以上,官联公司已成了“房间里的大象”,排挤包括土著在内的私营企业,并导致治理不善。种种迹象表明,官联公司是造成国内收入差距不断扩大的主要因素之一,尤其是土著社会的贫富差距。

由于官联公司,对国家和官僚机构的影响和联系,除了促进政治精英的附庸、勾结和裙带关系外,其也扭曲了所提供产品和服务的市场,并在没改善经济效率下,提高了营运的成本。

早先的大马计划都未能解决官联公司的扩张及其对经济和治理的负面影响。近期新一轮官联公司高层的政治任命,尽管受到公众的广泛谴责,但人们对此制度会有认真的改变不抱任何信心。

国会不能再拖延实施政策改革建议,将官联公司恢复到经济中的适当位置,这一点至关重要。官联公司必须作为一个独立的商业和竞争实体,而不应继续依靠政府赋于非必要和过多的特权与功能,进而打开政治恩庇和滥用公共资金机会。

林德宜《另一个即将失败的大马计划》(上)原文:Another Failed Malaysia Plan Coming Up - Part 1

The 12th Malaysia Five Year Plan tabled in parliament on September 27, if implemented as presented, will be a self-inflicted wound affecting socio-economic growth. It will also carry the clear risk of pushing Malaysia backward in development and prosperity.

The plan, presented by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, is full of claims of its policies and programs being “game changers,” “catalysts for,” “enablers,” etc. 

However, scrutiny of the document leaves me, and many others who have commented in the private whatsapp chats but not in the print media, deeply disappointed as we fail to discern specific policies that qualify for those descriptions.

In this first of a two part critique, I call the attention of the government to three key longstanding issues that necessitate an entirely different set of policy initiatives if 12MP is to meet its goals of making Malaysia a high-income country with inclusive and sustainable growth.

Firstly as a background it is important to emphasise the disclosure by the Federation of Freight Forwarders (FMFF) of the government’s attempt to enforce a drastic restructuring of the industry. The proposal to require existing non-Bumiputera firms to divest 51 percent of equity has been described as “a robbery” and classic “UMNOism.” Most quarters agree that this will be a contributing factor to further damage the investment climate as well as disrupt the supply chain’s efficiency and productivity.

This proposal overturns the solemn undertaking given by Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister, that the 30 percent target would not entail the takeover of existing assets but would be achieved via growth when he presented the New Economy Policy (NEP) in Parliament. 

I believe the proposal is not only a regressive policy change. It is also contrary to Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and is likely to be litigated.

Corporate equity

The 12th Plan is incorrect by suggesting that the 30 percent Malay corporate equity target set by the NEP in 1970 has yet to be attained. I have publicly challenged this finding in the past 15 years and to date the Government has not been able to respond to my critique as well as that of other experts who have followed up on the issue. 

The Government continues to ignore research studies that report contradictory findings; no credible statistics have been provided to support it.

To set the record straight, we need to remember that comprehensive ownership data collected by the Department of Statistics is available to determine the value and ethnicity of equity holdings. These, however, have been classified as “sensitive” and not released. 

The absence of actions to correct the basis for calculating the value of equity holdings has reduced the credibility of the statistics released. The current deeply flawed numbers should not under any circumstances underpin important policymaking.

Credible data is a fundamental requirement to support evidence-based policies. Greater transparency in the ethnic-oriented data on equity holdings as well as on other aspects of the economy and society are necessary if there is to be public confidence that there is a fair and just government. 

There is one reality for any economy that legislators must not forget. The Plan speaks of a decline in the equity held by Bumiputeras resulting from their disposal of shares. No account however is taken of the fact that trading of shares is a normal activity. Proceeds from such sales are often invested in other assets e.g. real estate, financial instruments, etc. Additionally, many of the elite appear to have transferred their newfound wealth offshore.

If further affirmation is needed, one has only to look at the Pandora papers estimates of capital flight which places Malaysia as among nations with the largest source of capital flowing out. 

GLCs and Re-energizing the Private Sector

The 12 Plan has omitted GLCs as a key sector to reform. Not only is the role that government-linked companies play pervasive but among countries in the world, we rank with the highest in terms of SOE presence among the largest firms. The negative economic impacts of such a dominating presence of GLC are well known and need little elaboration.

GLCs today constitute over 40 percent of the capitalization of all publicly listed companies.

They are the elephant in the room crowding out private enterprises including Bumiputras, and contributing to poor governance. There is every indication that they are among the main sources responsible for the growing income disparity in the country, in particular, that pertaining to the Bumiputera community.

With its influence over, and links to, the national and state bureaucracy, quite apart from its role in facilitating clientelism, collusion, and nepotism of the political elite, GLCs have introduced distortions to the market in the products and services provided and have raised the costs of doing business whilst not improving economic efficiency.

Earlier plans failed to address the proliferation of GLCs and their negative economic and governance impacts. The most recent round of political appointees to GLC high positions, despite widespread public condemnation, gives little confidence that any review will be taken seriously.

It is crucial for Parliament to not delay with implementing policy reform proposals that can restore GLCs to an appropriate place in the economy. They have to stand on their own as commercial and competitive entities without unnecessary and inflated government privilege and other functions that provide openings for politically driven patronage and misuse of public funds.

 

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林德宜

公共政策分析学者

 

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