PUTRAJAYA should revive the “umbrella” concept to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a share in large contracts given to big companies, Anwar Ibrahim said.
He said this would enable a trickle-down effect from larger corporations that were given government contracts to the SMEs under its wing.
“We give big companies the contracts and these companies allocate accordingly to smaller, able companies. This was the system we used when I was finance minister,” said Anwar, who is PKR president and also chairman of the parliamentary caucus on reform and governance.
He was speaking today during a dialogue at the Halal Fiesta at Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Anwar, who was finance minister as well as deputy prime minister in the 1990s, said the bigger companies that were given the contract would have to monitor the SMEs they subcontracted work to for quality control.
“For example, we give Guthrie a contract. Through this concept, Guthrie hires 60 smaller companies to handle the project. The companies must be able to handle the project and Guthrie can ensure that the quality of the product is consistent,” he said.
“This means from one company, there are 60 smaller companies, who are Bumiputera majority-owned, that will get to benefit from these contracts.”
Anwar suggested this concept can be applied by the Education Ministry when it rolls out its free breakfast programme in all primary schools next year.
“They can use this and hire local companies. For instance, in Kuching, they can find companies in that state that will provide halal food which is healthy and of top quality,” he said.
He said that if this can be implemented, the project may cost a few hundred million ringgit a year, but it will benefit thousands in that one district.