Malaysia in major liberalisation drive

From: (Polar Bear)
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:33:43 GMT
Local: Tues, Jun 30 2009 9:33 pm
Subject: Malaysia in major liberalisation drive

Malaysia in major liberalisation drive

By John Burton in Kuala Lumpur
Published: June 30 2009 07:06 | Last updated: June 30 2009 07:06

Malaysia announced on Tuesday extensive economic liberalisation measures to
attract foreign investments, including changes to its long-standing policy of
giving preferential treatment in business to the country’s ethnic Malay

The relaxation of controls on foreign investment would also curb the powers of
the Foreign Investment Committee, which has been blamed for discouraging foreign
investments with its lengthy approval process.

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”The world is changing quickly and we must be ready to change with it or risk
being left behind,” said Najib Razak, the prime minister, as he unveiled the
reforms at an investment conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The most significant move was to change a requirement that ethnic Malay
investors must hold a combined 30 per cent stake in listed companies. For
newly-listed companies, the quota would be cut to 12.5 per cent and could be
further reduced if companies later issue more shares. Foreign companies seeking
a listing on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange are not subject to the quota

Since coming to power in April, Mr Najib has sought to ease the pro-Malay
economic policy that was introduced by his father as prime minister in the early
1970s. This approach is seen as a move to win back the support of the country’s
disaffected ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities who view the policy as
discriminatory and voted for a resurgent opposition in elections last year that
cut government’s parliamentary majority drastically.

Among other measures introduced on Tuesday, Malaysia will allow foreign
investors to own 70 per cent of local stock brokerages, up from a current 49 per
cent limit. This follows a recent easing of foreign ownership limits for
insurance companies.

But foreign investors will still be limited to minority stakes in banks,
telecommunications and energy companies, which are regarded as ”strategic

The measures could provoke a backlash among the ethnic Malay population that
have benefited from the so-called ”bumiputra,” or sons of the soil, policy.

But Mr Najib said the ”best and most efficient” ethnic Malay-owned companies
would still be able to enjoy government support through a new M$10bn
state-controlled investment fund.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

From: "oikia"
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 09:45:44 +1000
Local: Wed, Jul 1 2009 7:45 am
Subject: Re: Malaysia in major liberalisation drive

What the Malays say is one thing. What they do is another. Ketuanan Melayu
will continue. Nobody will believe them after fifty years of
discriminations. They have been having it too good for too long. The silver
spoon up their arses have been lodge there a long time and any attempt to
dislodge it will be trumatic and it will not take much to get them to run
amok again. this time around when that occurs, the country will not be
liveable for everyone even malays. There will be no end to civil strive and
noone will benefit.

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