Privatisation of Malaysian telecommunications : accounting and reporting change
This thesis examines the accounting policy and financial reporting changes made by Malaysian telecommunications between 1957 and 1994. During this period, the telecommunications sector moved from being a government department to being a government-owned company in 1987 and a partially privatised company in 1990. A periodisation analysis method (Tinker and Neimark, 1987) is adopted to divide the time frame into three discrete periods: Period 1 (1957-1970) when the Malaysian Telecommunications Department pursued the cash basis of accounting; Period 2 (1971-1986) when the Department was supposedly changing to the full accruals basis of accounting; and Period 3 (1987-1994) when the corporated Syarikat Telekom Malaysia achieved full compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practice as an essential preliminary to flotation as Telekom Malaysia. Lüder's (1992) contingency model of public sector accounting innovations is used as a framework to analyse the stimuli to accounting change in Malaysian telecommunications, their effect on the expectations of change of users of accounting information and the behaviour of the producers of accounting information. The barriers to accounting change before corporisation are identified and the outcome of the process is evaluated. The discussion of privatisation as policy innovation stresses the importance of policy transfer from developed countries to developing countries and, in particular, the role model offered by experience in the United Kingdom to countries such as Malaysia. While acknowledging the importance of the influence of early experience of privatisation in developed countries, it is revealed that Malaysia had its own political and economic context which shaped privatisation policy and the manner in which it was implemented. Liberalisation of the market and regulation of telecommunications especially developed in a different way from that of the United Kingdom.