Corporate Malaysia: Essays on corporate governance, voting power, joint venture companies and ethnic Bumiputra Corporate Achievement

Electronic versions


  • Norkhairul Bajuri

    Research areas

  • PhD, Bangor Business School


This dissertation is on corporate Malaysia - a subject that spans both corporate governance and political economy. It deals with such issues as corporate ownership and control in the context of ethnicity. The first essay draws on the unique Malaysian experience to describe the possible unsuitability of the UK-US model of corporate governance for emerging economies. Examples from previous studies are used to highlight the unique relationship between ethnic Bumiputra economic interest and corporate governance. This essay also provides new statistics on the level of corporate control and highlights three areas of corporate governance as warranting further studies - technology, shareholders participation and application of voting power concept. The second essay introduces the basic concept of voting power as an alternative way of analysing corporate Malaysia. Data emanating from the Centre of Public Policy Studies 2006 (CPPS 2006) is analysed to illustrate this concept. A possible mismatch between the level of corporate ownership and the level of corporate control is illustrated. The third essay is on ethnic Chinese-Bumiputra joint venture companies as an equitable form of corporate ownership, as proposed by the CPPS (2006). Data from CPPS (2006) is analysed and a new framework of analysis is offered. Two stories emerge from our analysis. The study by the CPPS may have over-estimated the emergence of inter-ethnic joint ventures in Malaysia. The CPPS report also underestimates the difficulty of forming coalitions when shareholding within ethnic groups is dispersed. It remains to be seen if equitable control is also in the process of being achieved, since only a small percentage of companies listed in the stock exchange can be considered as inter-ethnic in the actual sense. Enriched information to highlight not just inter-ethnic but intra-ethnic distribution of equity is needed to shed light on potential coalitions across the ethnic divide. The fourth essay calls for greater application of the voting power concept in corporate governance studies. Special attention is placed on the Straffin index in view of its recent attention. This chapter concludes the Penrose-Banzhaf index as applicable with greater confidence despite general issues confronting this concept. The last essay is on ethnic Bumiputra' s corporate achievement. The first part focuses on corporate equity ownership by offering lawmakers as the basis for allocating shares in government-linked companies, hence an alternative equity ownership estimate. In the second part, the focus shifts to corporate control. Two observations are made: the intra-ethnic mismatch between equity and control and the inter-ethnic corporate control gap. In the latter observation, this gap reduces upon further analysis. Coalition with government entity increases ethnic Bumiputra's corporate control while small shareholders inactivity has an adverse influences on that of the ethnic Chinese group. The combined influences are corporate control increases for ethnic Bumiputra group but for ethnic Chinese group, reduction hence narrowing the gap. The influence of government coalition is expected. The influence of small shareholders inactivity to corporate control is however less expected.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award dateJan 2010