KUALA LUMPUR: The government should focus on governing and not doing business, said former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz.

She said the government should instead create an environment in which companies can do business, adding that these companies would pay taxes that could be channelled towards helping the rakyat.

“The government should not be doing business or nominating anyone to do business,” she said at a panel discussion organised by the Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) here today.

Rafidah, who was alluding to the high number of government-linked companies (GLCs) in Malaysia, said that whenever a misallocation of public funds occurred, it was the public who suffered the most.

“I’ve lost count of all the new companies who get paid vast amounts of money, but we don’t see results,” she said.

She said that to attract foreign investments, Malaysia needed to have the requisite “pull factors”.

“But in order for this to happen, the country needs to have a stable operating environment with predictable investor-positive policies,” she said.

Rafidah also said the government needed to have a clear regional and global vision, which included continually attuning itself to developments in the marketplace.

“Staying up to date with the nature of global competition will enable the capacity to preempt coming developments and find solutions,” she said.