Issue 2, Vol.1 (2023)

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Table of Contents

Comparing Government-linked Companies of Malaysia and Singapore: Governance, Government Involvement, and Economic Performance of Government-linked Companies

Written by: Yew Yik Khai, University of British Columbia, Canada
Received: July 6th, 2022
Revised: Oct 1st, 2022
Accepted: Oct 20th, 2022

Summary: This paper acts as a starting point in understanding the concept and layout of government-linked companies (GLCs) in Malaysia and Singapore, by introducing the history of GLCs and comparing the GLCs in the two countries in terms of governance, the level of government involvement and the economic performance of the firms.

Government-linked companies (GLCs) are instrumental in many emerging economies including Malaysia and Singapore, where they maintain significant economic presences. Having separated in 1963, both countries have pursued contrasting economic models, and hence, have established their GLCs with contrasting missions. Given this, this paper aims to compare both countries’ GLCs with regard to governance, levels of government involvement, and firms’ economic performance. To assess the extent each government can interfere with GLCs’ corporate decisions, the organizational structures and operation mechanisms of GLCs in both countries are compared. Next, to measure governance, the career backgrounds of chairpersons of the top ten GLCs in each country (by market capitalization) are examined for explicit political or governmental connections. Both government involvement and governance are considered when analyzing each firm’s economic performance, indicated using stock price changes from 2015 to 2020. Data shows that Singaporean GLCs, which have lower levels of government involvement, performed better than Malaysian GLCs. Although cronyism is present in both countries, the research suggests that Singapore appoints former civil servants to lead GLCs as meritocratic promotions, whereas Malaysia tends to appoint politicians or well-connected individuals who do not necessarily possess relevant qualifications or experience. In short, between the Malaysian and Singaporean GLCs, lower levels of government involvement and cronyism are related to better firm performance. This study could be extended to explore more firms (including unlisted GLCs), analyze each firm’s board of directors deeper, and investigate concerns of GLCs crowding out the private sector.

The Effectiveness of Government Education Expenditure in Overcoming Income Inequality: A Study of Southeast Asia

Written by To Ying Yun, University of Warwick
Received: July 31st, 2022
Revised: Nov 30th, 2022
Accepted: Jan 13th, 2023

Summary: This paper aims to investigate the relationship between government education expenditure and income inequality in Southeast Asia while controlling for countries’ political conditions by using a random effect model.

This paper examines the relationship between government education expenditure and income inequality in Southeast Asia while controlling for countries’ political conditions. Using a random effect model, it is found that spending on compulsory education reduces income inequality but spending on non-compulsory education does the opposite. Countries’ governance and political conditions also play a significant role in affecting the effectiveness of government education expenditure in addressing the issue of income inequality.

Malaysia's Experiences in Implementing TVET and NDTS Policies: A Narrative Review

Written by: Muhammad Iman Hakimi Bin Ahmad Zaini, International Islamic University Malaysia
Received: Aug 28th, 2022
Revised: Oct 27th, 2022
Accepted: Dec 1st, 2022

Summary: This study constructs a systematic narrative review to evaluate the current implementation ofTechnical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and National Dual Training System (NDTS) policies

To improve policy effectiveness, appropriate and diligent implementation should be addressed, particularly in the policy ecosystem, which incorporates numerous stakeholders to carry out the policy. The goal of TVET is to provide a steady supply of K-Workers to the Malaysian labor market. Proper agenda-setting is essential at this point, with the re-definition of the phrase ’employability’ and ‘marketability’. The government has failed to solve the issue of the gap in entry to higher education amongst students who graduated from TVET institutions in the current implementation of TVET. As a result, the government is attempting to solve the problem by establishing a network of Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs), known as the Malaysian Technical University Network (MTUN), to encourage the admission of these K-Workers for upskilling reasons. As a result, aggressive efforts must be done to address the critical issues ailing Malaysia’s TVET system, such as skill mismatch, uncoordinated governance, stigma associated with TVET courses, numerous certification systems, limited access to minorities, and a lack of adequate policy coordination.

Industrialization Through An Automotive Industry Lens: A Comparison Between South Korea and Malaysia

Written by: Hashim Bin Suhaimi, University of Manchester
Received: Aug 1st, 2022
Revised: Oct 23th, 2022
Accepted: Nov 23rd, 2022

Summary: This study explores and investigates the possible sources of divergence in the automotive industry’s success between South Korea and Malaysia, and provides potential suggestions for improvements thereof.

The automotive industry is an important part of the overall industrialization process in any developing country, with development in the industry having significant positive impacts on the overall economy. Much of it can be attributed to the industry operating in an ecosystem of multiple and substantive forward and backward linkages. Therefore, this dissertation seeks to explore and investigate the possible sources of divergence in the success of the automotive industry between South Korea and Malaysia. This is because both newly independent countries at the time had similar levels of GDP per capita and chose to pursue a similar development model for the industry during the 1970s. Yet, only Korea is currently in the top producers of vehicles in the world while Malaysia has an almost non-existent export sector for its automotive industry. This paper argues that Malaysia’s failure in achieving the level of success of South Korea is due to the weakness of state institutions and reluctance to implement trade liberalization policies. Much of it was the result of policy aims within the Malaysian government to achieve two distinct goals of economic nationalism and industry development which were at times at odds with one another. Thus, impending possible avenues of growth. However, the Malaysian government still has enough policy space for navigating and developing further growth within the industry if they learn from past policy failures by implementing the recommendations argued for in this dissertation.

Women in Tech: Exploring The Link Between A Feminine Board and Firm Performance in The IT Sector of United States

Written by: Nur Batrisya Fathima, University of Warwick
Received: Aug 1st, 2022
Revised: Oct 20th, 2022
Accepted: Jan 12th, 2023

Summary: This study examines the relationship between female directorship and firm performance ni U.S. publicly listed software and IT companies from 2007-2020, as proxied by return on assets (accounting) and Tobin’s O (market-based).

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between female directorship and firm performance, expressed in two measures: Return on Assets (accounting) and Tobin’s Q (market-based). This paper contributes to existing literature surrounding board gender diversity which is inconclusive, particularly in the IT sector where research is scarce. Overall, this study finds no relationship between female directorship and both measures of firm performance, concluding that past performance may have been a more important driver. Nevertheless, this paper is unique as it incorporates lagged female directorship to address the issue of reverse causality and further contributes to the research topic by providing recommendations for future research.

The Effect of The Covid-19 Pandemic on Music Streaming Patterns

Written by: Thum Chiean Tien, University of Warwick
Received: July 30th, 2022
Revised: Oct 31st, 2022
Accepted: 13 Jan, 2023

Summary: This paper analyses musicians revenue changes and Spotify streaming counts during the COVID-19 pandemic with the purpose of answering how the streaming consumption is affected based on music types in terms of language and genres, and if the change is motivated by a preference for local music.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lifestyles in many ways. One interesting way is the method we consume music, as live music events or shows were cancelled or postponed. Consumers shift to depending on remote music streaming as a coping mechanism or means of entertainment during the pandemic. However, it remains unclear how streaming consumption is affected based on music types in terms of language and genres, and if the change is motivated by a preference for local music. This paper explores these questions by analyzing musicians’ revenue changes and Spotify streaming counts during the pandemic.

Hubungan Antara Faktor Meteorologi dan Bahan Pencemar Dalam Kualiti Udara

Written by: Noor Iffa Hafizza Binti Zakaria, University Kebangsaan Malaysia
Received: Aug 17th, 2022
Revised: Nov 5th, 2022
Accepted: Jan 16th, 2023

Summary: This is a Malay-written paper that studies the relationship between meteorological factors and pollutants in airquality in Malaysia

Air is a predominant asset in daily life and air pollution is a global problem that worries society. Among the factors that contribute to air pollution problems are the rise of transportation and the industry. Apart from the factors that are obvious for the cause of air pollution, this study aims to investigate the influence of meteorological parameters such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed on air pollution in Malaysia whether it increases or decreases the concentration of pollutants consisting of CO, NO2, SO2, PM10 and O3. The average pollutant concentrations from January to November in 2011 are used with meteorological parameters over the same period. Pearson correlation analysis is conducted to see the significant relationship and strength of r between each pollutant with meteorological parameters and between concentrations of pollutants. The results of statistical analysis show that there is a significant correlation between the concentration of pollutants with environmental variables at a yield of 5%. Then, simple linear, polynomial, and multiple linear regression models were built to explore the dependencies of the relationship between meteorological variables and the concentration of air pollutants. Furthermore, the resulting regression model found that CO, NO2, and O3 pollutants are dependent on temperature, humidity, and wind speed where the dependence of these three pollutants on wind velocity is negative while the dependence on temperature and humidity are positive. As for PM10 pollutants, it was found that it is dependent positively by temperature and humidity. Meanwhile, for SO2, it only shows a positive dependence on temperature. For the multiple linear regression model, partial correlation analysis was carried out to assess the contribution of individual meteorological parameters to the concentration of pollutants. The results showed that temperature was the largest contributor to the concentration of pollutants followed by humidity and wind velocity. In addition, the best regression model is recommended which is MLR2 for CO, NO2 and O3 pollutants while MLR1 for PM10 and exponential model for SO2. Finally, the role of the location of the air quality monitoring station on the air pollution model has been performed. The results of the analysis showed that meteorological factors in industrial, urban and rural areas showed different contributions for different pollutants as they were also affected by other factors. Finally, the proposed model can be used as a predictive model in improving air quality management in Malaysia.