JUNE 4 — I am writing to clarify the online Malay Mail’s article (written by Melissa Chi) dated 3 June 2014, “Crony Capitalism in Malaysia has to go, son of YTL founder says”. The title of this article is inaccurate and it does not reflect the content of what I actually said at the Forum sponsored by Pemandu.
I accepted the invitation to chat at this Forum by MAMPU. In the first place, I understood the purpose was to be as candid and transparent to a cynical audience and if the opportunity arises, to clear some misperceptions of how business is actually conducted in Malaysia and globally. I have always been enamoured of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) led by our present Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Razak, and transparently articulated through Pemandu.
1. I was responding to an on-going misperception that Malaysia practises ‘crony capitalism’, which was continually raised by the audience. When asked if I was a ‘crony’ of Tun Dr Mahathir who purportedly awarded us a lucrative IPP concession, I categorically stated that I was NOT a crony of Tun Dr Mahathir! In everything we did, we introduced innovative ideas to succeed — from unprecedented Ringgit Financing for infrastructure projects in developing countries, creating the first 15 year bond market and pioneering the IPC listing category in Bursa Malaysia.
2. I made it very clear that the achievements made were not a consequence of crony capitalism. I also wanted to dispel the audience’s misperception that successful businesses in Malaysia are a result of crony capitalism.
3. Throughout this interaction, I have actually defended the present Government’s concerted efforts to introduce more open competition and encourage greater transparency in business. This is so apparent in the efforts by Pemandu.
I want to make it very clear that this Malay Mail’s title “Crony Capitalism in Malaysia has to go, son of YTL founder says” has completely misrepresented what I said. It automatically presupposes that “crony capitalism” is how things are done in Malaysia. This is FAR FROM THE TRUTH! In fact, I said I wanted to correct this misperception that has hovered around and used by various political factions for 20 years.
I appeal to you to print an immediate correction on your online mail and also other printed materials, as this is a serious error.
* Tan Sri Francis Yeoh is the Managing Director, YTL Corp Bhd.
** A previous version of this letter contained an error made by the writer. It has since been corrected.
*** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.