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M’sia liberalises 27 service sub-sectors

PUTRAJAYA, 22 April 2009: The government has liberalised with immediate effect 27 service sub-sectors with no 30% bumiputera equity condition imposed on health and social services, tourism, transport, business, computer and related services.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the government would be progressively liberalising the other service sub-sectors on an on-going basis.

“The liberalisation of the services sector is pursued with the view of creating a conducive business environment to attract investments, technologies and higher value employment opportunities,” he told a media briefing on the liberalisation of the services sector.

Najib said the initiative would not adversely affect the domestic services industry as the government would continue to support the industry in capacity-building and in the opening up of export markets.

“The services sector is an important component of the national economy, contributing 55% to the gross domestic product in 2008, of which 47.6% was from non-government services,” he said.

He said the sector accounted for 57% of the country’s total employment.

Malaysia’s approved investments in the services sector totalled RM50.1 billion in 2008, exceeding the RM45.8 billion investment target a year as envisaged in the Third Industrial Master Plan, said Najib. — Bernama

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One Response to “M’sia liberalises 27 service sub-sectors”

  1. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    Till they liberalise the legal services sector with or without the bumiputera qualification, the legal services sector in Malaysia will continue to remain an overpriced, inefficient and corrupt sector of the Malaysian economy.

    Of its own material the Malaysian legal services sector is extensively tainted with corruption which then extends naturally by progression to the bench.

    The quality of legal drafting, litigation, negotiation, documentation and advice remains horrendously and embarrassingly low and substandard.

    Thus far Malaysian legal firms who have managed to overcome some of these self inflicted quality and competition barriers artificially, especially those larger firms that undertake the more complex and highly technical transactions have done so by resorting to buying off the shelf generic outdated US and British documents attempting to then cut and paste what they consider relevant bits from these to suit local conditions.

    Available freely on the internet are examples of telecommunication agreements between the government carrier and private sector telecommunications companies in Malaysia which they describe as documents “drafted” by Malaysian “Counsel” and legal advisors.

    If the government takes the bold step against the Malaysian Bar’s resistance to the opening up of this sector, it will directly benefit bumiputera and non-bumiputera lawyers who anyway are initially for the better part educated abroad.

    Such a move (sooner rather than later) will add to cost competition, better quality training and better quality advice and general legal services work.

    A society without an independent and competitive services sector creates an environment of unhealthy uncompetitive oligarchs and monopolists who end up not realising how incompetent and outdated their contribution to the community really is.

    All of the evidence of incompetence and corruption within the legal services sector in Malaysia is already evident as it has been for ages. A further set off proofs of this assumption can be found in the low level placement of Malaysian lawyers in the more competent jurisdictions abroad where they are relegated to small shop lawyers (unless of course they are linked to big lucrative client bases).

    Gopal Raj Kumar


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