Malaysiakini Letter

Corporate Malaysia getting greedier and bolder

TK Chua  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | There is a WhatsApp message circulation stating the salaries, fees and perks of CEOs and directors of two public listed companies involved in infrastructure development. I guess the recent controversies in MRT2 renegotiation have gathered the attention of the public.

I believe “Corporate Malaysia” has become greedier, uglier and now bolder by the day.

They pay themselves exorbitant salaries and benefits that are way out of proportion with living standard and general income level of the country.

Mind you, most of these corporations are not even “entrepreneurial owned” but public companies owned by shareholders doing business with the government on public sector projects.

With large salaries paid to themselves, they have become rich and powerful. They are now even bold enough to challenge public policies and societal interests if their personal interests are encroached.

These CEOs and directors would argue purportedly for shareholder rights, employment and worker welfare. But I don’t think so; they are essentially enjoying and protecting their own vested interests.

I think easily 70 to 80 percent of the listed companies on Bursa Malaysia exist only for the benefit of major shareholders and directors.

They pay themselves ugly salaries and benefits but a pittance to their workers and shareholders. Ordinary Malaysians are getting way too little when compared with the corporate bigwigs.

When corporations abuse their power and indulge in profiteering, citizens pay more for everything from water, tolls, electricity and fares to endless extensions of concession periods.

I admit I do not have privileged information. But from what I gathered, the value of an “above-ground” MRT project was recently slashed by RM5,200 million through renegotiation.

I wonder what tendering and contracting process can yield such a massive variation on value? Did the contractor simply bid and the previous government blindly pay?

This is one project. What about past projects embedded with massive cost padding which consumers need to pay for today?

It is time the new government start renegotiations with all the concessionaires be they for tolls, fares, water or electricity.

Some people are getting way too much for doing way too little.

Seriously how many CEOs of public companies or GLCs put their own money at risk? Why do they deserve to get so much, talent and capability notwithstanding?

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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