SHAH ALAM, March 18 2012 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the tender process for the sale of shares of government-linked companies (GLCs) is done in a fair and objective manner.
"We are learning from what has been done in the past. We should make a more transparent and objective evaluation.
"We will carefully scrutinise everything and only give it a go if we are satisfied with it," he said at a get-together with over 800 retired senior government officers, here Sunday.
Najib was responding to the welcoming address earlier by a representative of the group, Datuk Zainal Abidin Nordin, who is former Land and Cooperative Development Ministry secretary-general, who called for the interest of bumiputera to be safeguarded, including in the divestment of GLC shares.
The prime minister said that although the evaluation process for bidders of GLC shares was not a guarantee against failure, it would at least ensure the process was carried out in a transparent and objective manner.
Najib pointed out that GLC shares were not to be sold to just about anyone, saying that only the most qualified bidders would be successful.
"We know we should not give too much to only one or two individuals. So far, this (tender process) has been going on well," he said, adding that there was also a need to look into the agenda to help the bumiputera economy because of weaknesses in the past.
This however, was not the fault of entrepreneurs in the past but rather, was due to the financial crises which had affected major corporations, he said.
"The government had to revive these companies. To me, we cannot rely on one or two individuals. Award to bumiputera should therefore be made based on qualification and merit, and proven track record," he said.
He added that the government should help those who are qualified and have the potential to go far and not "rent-seekers" who are out to make a quick profit.
Najib said the true capacity of the bumiputera should be developed without relying on things like support letters from leaders.
He also said that the government's policy of helping the bumiputera was correct but something was not right in its implementation.
"If previously, we can afford to make mistakes because we can review them, but (now) time is not on our side. We must get it absolutely right (this time)," he said.
He also stressed that the bumiputera agenda should be implemented based on efforts to develop entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who had the potentials to go far and the capabilities to compete.
Najib also said that turning Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020 was a major challenge for him since becoming the prime minister, and stressed that Malaysia needed a new and suitable economic model and package to achieve the vision.
He added that the country's economy needs to grow at least by five to six per cent a year to be able to generate the kind of gross national income that would turn Malaysia into a developed nation. Najib also drew the attention of those present that the government's transformation programme would not be able to achieve its objective if states under the opposition's rule, including Selangor, did not return to the Barisan Nasional's fold.
He also said that he appreciated the role played by former senior government officers who remained supportive of the BN government, and urged them to come together to assist the government or become its spokesmen.
Present were Selangor BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar, Selangor MCA chairman Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai and members of Selangor Malaysian ex-assemblymen council led by Datuk Seri Abu Hassan Omar.