The government has removed the 30% bumiputra equity condition in 27 services sub-sectors, with immediate effect. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that the Government would progressively undertake the liberalisation of other services sub-sectors on an ongoing basis.
Among the services sub-sectors immediately liberalised were health and social, tourism, business and computer related services.
This is a much anticipated move and should be lauded as a good first step forward to unfreeze the private sector from making meaningful investment in these areas.
I hope that the liberalisation is followed by a directive to all governmental departments, ministries and GLCs to support the liberalisation. All Malaysian listed companies should be allowed to do business with the government.
I would like to see similar move being made for the manufacturing and financial sectors. Next, the government should focus on helping Malaysians to improve their earning power. Malaysia should create more knowledge centric and higher value opportunities to attract knowledge workers to come back to serve the local economy. We must lose our dependence on cheap foreign labour.