REMEBER what happened to MAS? It took years to fix, not to mention billions in bailout cost. That should serve as a lesson on why we shouldn’t sell national strategic assets to a businessman.
Yes, I’m talking about PLUS Malaysia Bhd, the highway operator. Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamad’s offer to buy all the 51% stake owned by UEM Group Bhd (a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd) as well as the remaining 49% owned by the Employees Providence Fund (EPF) is a bit of a bad joke if you ask me.
Does Maju Holdings have the money? First, they built MEX Highway with a government grant. And then they tried to sell it for profit. I guess this was why the Government got suspicious and asked Maju Holdings to disclose the source and mode of financing for its RM36 billion offer.
Tan Sri Abu Sahid was also embroiled in the controversies surrounding Perwaja Steel. Guess what? That company went bankrupt. And what about Maju Junction? It’s now managed by Parkson because ‘it was not well managed’ before they took over!
I echo the calls by many Malaysians to ask the Government to reject Maju Holdings’ proposal. Malaysians were relieved when Tan Sri Halim Saad’s RM68 billion bid for PLUS Malaysia Bhd in 2014 was rejected. I don’t see why the government should accept that RM36 billion bid.
Why should the government not even entertain the idea of selling PLUS Malaysia Bhd? The RM4 billion cash payment is no different than a dangled candy! Anyway, who is going to bail out PLUS later when history repeats itself?
If Maju Holdings fail to manage the 1,000 km highways, Tan Sri said he will return it to the government without any cost. But what about that outstanding loan? Will the government have to pay it as well? If this happens, we all suffer.
Worse still is when ownership of this highway transfers into the hands of the foreign funder!
In these times of economic uncertainties, I hope the government would not take any risk in selling a strategic investment asset to an individual – especially one with a shaky and questionable track record. – Text: Concern Citizen/MYNEWSHUB.CC