The CRC Series on Competition, Regulation and Development
Edited by Paul Cook, Colin Kirkpatrick, Martin Minogue and David Parker
Chapter 11: Regulating competition in Malaysia
Cassey Lee INTRODUCTION Competition regulation became important in Malaysia following the regulatory reforms that accompanied the government’s ambitious privatization programme. Sectoral regulation in the pre-privatization period involved mostly economic regulation and this was purely a matter of ‘self-regulation’ by the government. With privatization, new regulatory institutions and mechanisms have been established to regulate privatized entities. In the absence of a national competition policy or law, a sectoral approach to competition regulation was adopted. This approach to competition regulation has thus far been limited and ineffective. The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs is currently formulating a national competition policy that, if implemented, will eventually lead to a national competition policy. The future transformation from a sectoral approach to a national approach in competition regulation will not be easy. This chapter discusses the existing state and future directions of competition regulation in Malaysia. The next section begins with a brief discussion of development policies in Malaysia since 1970. This is followed by a discussion of the sectoral competition regulation in the country, then a focus on the ongoing efforts to implement a national competition policy. The fifth section concludes. DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATORY CONTEXT SINCE 1970 An important event in the post-independence era in Malaysia was the racial riots in May 1969. The government responded to the event with an extensive interventionist development policy called the New Economic Policy (NEP). The NEP was implemented to eradicate poverty as well as to redress the economic imbalance between the major races in the...
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