Monday, November 24, 2008

Malaysians subsidising foreigners …

Picking up on the likes of Maybank, Telekom, Astro, Genting, Maxis and YTL investing chunks of money overseas ….

It can be argued they have grown too big for Malaysian markets and this is part of normal corporate development. Some would say we should be proud that Malaysia has been able to grow such large companies.

I see no reason to be proud - all these companies are either monopolies or operate in cosy oligopolies with limited competition in Malaysia. All the extra funds they have are from the supernormal profits they reaped from you and me, the average Malaysian, thanks to the government protecting them from competition.

Take Astro, which has a government-granted monopoly on satellite tv. While it was operating in highly competitive Indonesia, it was charging Indonesians less than Malaysians. And consider Telekom, spending huge sums overseas while giving us atrocious Streamyx service, charging us RM25/month minimum fixed line charges and crying to the government that it cannot afford to spend on broadband in Malaysia (and successfully getting a subsidy!).

Investments overseas don’t generate that many jobs for Malaysians. But the investments are paid for by Malaysians through inflated prices and poor service in Malaysia due to the lack of competition. Government policies need rethinking. If our companies are big enough to go overseas, they are big enough to face competition here in the local market. Local consumers will then benefit from lower prices and better services.

3 comments:

Jed Yoong said...

That's interesting, our EPF/Valuecap buying these shares to fund their overseas investments.
Astro sucks!

Kembara Hati Sang Jejaka said...

Agreed!!!

Kembara Hati Sang Jejaka said...

Agreed!!