KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking at downsizing or closing non-performing state government-linked companies (GLCs), says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said each GLC needs to serve its purpose, but those that had steered away from their core objectives or were embroiled in any abuse, including corruption, would be revamped or closed.
He said GLCs were set up with a primary function to meet the state government’s economic and development goals, as well as to provide employment for the people.
Sadly, he added, some GLCs have lost their focus, and the state government was trying to right these wrongs in an effort to redirect them to their original purpose.
He said the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB), Yayasan Sabah and Sawit Kinabalu were all set up and given large tracts of land for development and timber concessions to carry out business.
They were then supposed to channel their huge profits to assist in providing education and healthcare, spur rural economies and help the poor.
“Today, they have more or less diverted from their original intentions. I am taking steps to bring them back to their original roles,” he said when opening a seminar on the “Role of the Government in the Economy: Government-Linked Companies”, organised by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) on Monday (March 25).
Shafie said that at least three subsidiaries of Yayasan Sabah, the state’s biggest concession holder, might be downsized or closed with their staff absorbed into other companies or divisions of Yayasan.
“Changes cannot take place in a blink of an eye – we are in the process of changing to make GLCs more transparent.
“We must ensure that there inclusiveness in the our development,” he said, adding that the many issues of corruption and abuse of power reported nationwide in GLCs was a lesson for all.
Shafie said that he was also looking at forming new bodies such as a Sabah Marketing Board to help agricultural producers connect to markets, as currently a lot of unsold vegetables in rural areas were left to rot.