KUALA LUMPUR: The chief of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund has defended the role of government-owned companies in the business sector.
Speaking at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2023 on Monday, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said that government-owned entities are often criticised for “crowding out” private players.
“(However), we believe that we also have a responsibility to “crowd in” private players and other stakeholders.
“Take for instance, Dana Impak, our RM6bil allocation to increase Malaysia’s competitiveness and build national resilience.
“Among the programmes we’ve launched under Dana Impak is the Future Malaysia Programme which seeks to invest in the Malaysian venture ecosystem,” he said.
Amirul Feisal highlighted the importance of various stakeholders in the economy to collaborate, including private companies, the government, regulators, fund managers, non-governmental organisations and academia.
He also noted that it is “borderline absurd” to assume Khazanah Nasional is fit to invest all along the venture spectrum.
“As such, we work with partners such as 500 Global, Gobi, Antler, Plug and Play, PETRONAS Ventures and more to ensure that we take a holistic approach in the value chain,” according to him.
The sovereign wealth fund recently launched the Khazanah Impact Innovation Challenge with the theme of “Tackling the Climate Challenge for Malaysia’s Food Security”, to discover and support new businesses in solving a key challenge for Malaysia.
“15 companies have been identified to go through the accelerator run by Plug and Play, which will kick off next week,” Amirul Feisal said.
Commenting on Khazanah’s investment strategy, Amirul Feisal said it is shaped by its overall strategic goal of “Advancing Malaysia”.
“And in executing on this strategy, we must, among others, ensure value creation in our companies where we have large shareholdings, invest strategically in solving issues that Malaysia faces via our impact fund or “Dana Impak”, produce strong risk-adjusted returns from our global investment operations, and deliver societal value to our ultimate stakeholders, the Malaysian rakyat,” he added.