PETALING JAYA: An academic who has done extensive research on the nexus between government-linked companies (GLCs) and political financing said that the new bumiputra agenda should look at wealth inequality among the less privileged Malaysians instead of only one race.
Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez said that there was so much of wealth inequality among the bumiputra community especially in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Sabah.
He said the new agenda should not be confined to only the bumiputra community but all Malaysians who are poor.
"We want to hear more debate on this matter. It should be an economic congress for the poor," he said at the launch of the 'Government in Business: Diverse Forms of Intervention' report here yesterday.
In the report, Dr Gomez outline how the GLCs are used as a tool for government to empower politicians and allow them to fund their political activities.
Assisted by a team, Dr Gomez outlined the GLCs at the Federal and state levels and why politicians were appointed to some of the organisations that were used as a tool to grow their influence and power base.
"Economic wealth transforms to political influence," said Dr Gomez.
On another matter, Dr Gomez described Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, the newly-appointed economic adviser to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a person whose work was very much targeted for the poor.
He said it would be interesting to see Dr Muhammed work alongside Dr Mahathir who he described as a pro-business leader.
"Khalid's knows the issues and it will be interesting to see him work alongside Dr Mahathir," said Dr Gomez.
Dr Muhammed is the brother-in-law of former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who was appointed by Dr Mahathir to head the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP). The council was initially set up to assist the government to achieve its election pledges within the first 100 days.
Dr Mahathir had said that it would continue to function in assisting him.
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