Seminar: The Government’s Business: Politics, Policies and the Corporate Sector in Malaysia


About the Seminar

In 2008, when a global financial crisis erupted and brought the world to the brink of economic collapse, a strong critique of poorly regulated capitalism emerged, bringing to the fore debates about models of development that involve the use of government-linked companies (GLCs) to generate growth. Malaysia provides an interesting case of state intervention in the economy to drive economic growth and redistribute wealth equitably. GLCs, which serve as investment funds and savings-based institutions that vary significantly in terms of their size and objectives, have emerged as Malaysia’s leading enterprises with ownership and control of a huge number of companies through complex pyramid-type organizational structures. The government, under different Prime Ministers, has employed these GLCs in the economy and in the corporate sector in different ways.

This lecture provides an historical review of government-business relations in Malaysia, tracing how this nexus shaped the mode of the state’s intervention in the economy and the nature of its politics and policies. Particular attention will be paid to critical historical junctures, when crises precipitated change in models of development and the relationship between management control and public governance of GLCs.

About the Speaker

Edmund Terence Gomez is Professor of Political Economy at the Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya.  He specializes in state-market relations and the linkages between politics, policies and enterprise development. He has held appointments at the University of Leeds (UK) and Murdoch University (Australia) and served as Visiting Professor at Kobe University, Japan and at the Universities of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and California (San Diego). Between 2005 and 2008, he served as Research Coordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), in Geneva, Switzerland. Other academic appointments include Visiting Fellowships at the Australian National University, Canberra and at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Denmark.

His international book publications include Malaysia’s Political Economy: Politics, Patronage and Profits (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Chinese Business in Malaysia: Accumulation, Ascendance, Accommodation (University of Hawaii Press, 1999); Political Business in East Asia (Routledge, 2002); The State of Malaysia: Ethnicity, Equity and Reform (Routledge, 2004); The State, Development and Identity in Multi-ethnic Countries: Ethnicity, Equity and the Nation (Routledge, 2008); The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012); The New Economic Policy in Malaysia: Affirmative Action, Horizontal Inequalities and Social Justice (National University of Singapore Press, 2013); and Minister of Finance Incorporated: Ownership and Control of Corporate Malaysia (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017).


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 15 August 2017.


Aug 16 2017


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2