Reducing Government’s Role in Business

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The Government's role in business, which has hitherto been aimed at helping to accelerate growth in specifc industries of national interest, has nonetheless created several challenges which this SRI seeks to address.

Reducing Government's Role in BusinessThese include avoiding crowding out the private sector, increasing liquidity in the capital markets and improving the Government's finances.

In order to attend to these needs, the Government through this SRI will:

  • Clearly establish the Government's role in business
  • Develop a clear divestment plan
  • Establish clear governance guidelines for government and state-owned companies

These efforts are aimed at gradually shifting the Government's role in business from investor to facilitator. In doing so, the Government will adhere to the following guidelines for private sector participation:

  • Co-invest with the private sector in projects that will boost GNI such as regional corridor developments
  • Ensure the business is directly related to issues of national security
  • Ensure the business requires large capital investments and long gestation periods, such as nano-technology, and are deemed strategic businesses or those which are in the national interest

Reducing Government's Role in BusinessThe Government has also identifed national infrastructure projects such as renewable energy and public transport systems as those which warrant its participation.

Its divestment exercise will involve the sale of Government- linked companies’ (GLCs) ownership in public-listed companies and other entities. To date, 33 companies have been identifed for divestment. Of all 33 target companies, 23 have been successfully divested as of November 2013.

Government and state-owned assets will also be divested accordingly under this SRI. However, the Government will continue to hold assets which are deemed strategic to national interest or public service delivery. Of those identifed strategic companies, the Government will adopt less invasive strategic control methods such as golden shares, which award a shareholder special voting rights and veto power over corporate actions. The Government will also formulate appropriate policies to protect those industries.