State-Owned Enterprises, Market Competition and the Boundaries of Competition Law in Malaysia

Haniff Ahamat, Nasarudin Abdul Rahman

Abstract


ABSTRACT

This article examines the challenges and opportunities of subjecting Malaysian State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to its main competition legislation that is the Competition Act 2010. This article first highlights the nature of economic activities which is a crucial element in determining that an SOE actually participates in the market. Despite the contentions that SOEs have a unique character, and should be excluded from normal regulation of competition, this article argues that competition law is important in addressing the problems brought about by Government or State’s involvements in businesses. This article finds that while the Competition Act 2010 does not apply a blanket exemption to SOEs, there are many hurdles in applying the law to them. Based on the literature analysis in the earlier part of this article, this article finds that some of these hurdles are justified especially if they are connected to the notion of natural monopoly. Where there are not connected, extending the check and balance mechanisms against the market activities of the SOEs will be crucial. This article shows that the avenues to realise it still exist but are limited.

Keywords: Competition law and policy; public policy; economic regulation; Malaysian political economy; constitutional law

ABSTRAK

Makalah ini mengkaji cabaran dan peluang untuk memakai perundangan utama persaingan di Malaysia iaitu Akta Persaingan 2010 kepada syarikat milik negara di Malaysia. Makalah ini memulakan langkah dengan menerangkan sifat aktiviti ekonomi yang merupakan satu elemen penting dalam menentukan sesebuah syarikat milik negara benar-benar berpartisipasi dalam sesuatu pasaran. Di sebalik hujahan bahawa syarikat milik negara adalah unik dan sepatutnya dikecualikan daripada regulasi persaingan yang normal, makalah ini menekankan bahawa undang-undang persaingan penting untuk menghadapi masalah yang disebabkan oleh penglibatan Kerajaan atau Negara dalam perniagaan. Makalah ini mendapati walaupun Akta Persaingan 2010 tidak memakai pengecualian menyeluruh kepada syarikat milik negara, terdapat banyak halangan dalam pemakaian undang-undang kepada kelompok tersebut. Berdasarkan analisa literature pada bahagian awal makalah ini, didapati sebahagian daripada halangan ini mempunyai justifikasi kerana berkait dengan konsep monopoli semulajadi. Namun jika ia tidak berkait, tindakan memanjangkan mekanisme semak dan seimbang terhadap aktiviti pasaran syarikat bukan kerajaan adalah mustahak. Makalah ini menunjukkan cara merealisasikan mekanisme tersebut wujud tetapi ia terhad.

Kata kunci: Undang-undang dan polisi persaingan; polisi awam; regulasi ekonomi; ekonomi politik Malaysia; undang-undang perlembagaan


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