On EPF & Malaysia Airlines (MAS)
1. I view with incredulity that scores of Pakatan leaders appear to be shocked that Prime Minister Najib had highlighted that Malaysia has also contributed to trade and investment flows to the USA.
2. It is as if these Pakatan leaders have not been reading the news for the past few years.
3. For instance, they were shocked to learn that the EPF had invested US$7 billion in equities in the USA and has plans to invest up to another US$3 billion.
4. Over the past few years, the EPF have been coming out with various statements showing that they have embarked on diversification in overseas investments. This is so that it can minimise risks and maximise their returns.
5. As at Q1 2017, EPF’s total assets invested reached RM747 billion, whereas the total value of all the companies listed on our entire Bursa Malaysia stock market is at around RM1.7 trillion mark.
Due to the enormous size of EPF’s funds now, diversification overseas is a necessity and no longer just an option.
6. Accordingly, in July last year, the EPF removed the 30% cap on foreign investment for their Members Investment Scheme and allowed their members to invest in funds that fully invested overseas.
7. The results show that its overseas investments accounted for 29% of its total investment assets and contributes 37% to the total investment income as at the first quarter of 2017.
8. In fact, in the past two years’ dividend announcements, the EPF had specifically stated that good returns from their overseas investments had allowed EPF to deliver good dividends despite a slower domestic market.
Hence, it is shocking that our local opposition politicians are seemingly unaware of these developments.
9. Moving on to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) purchase of Boeing planes, this too is not a new development.
10. In July 2016, it was already widely reported that MAS had signed a deal to purchase up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX jets: with orders for 25, and rights to purchase 25 more in a deal valued at US$5.5 billion at list prices.
11. Similarly, in August 2017, the media also reported that due to the success of MAS’ restructuring and its current growth, it was already deep in negotiations to purchase 30 more new Boeing 786 or Airbus jets to allow MAS to continue growing its routes and business.
12. MAS purchases of new planes is not news at all. However, it seems to have caught opposition politicians by surprise. Instead of praising the success of MAS’ restructuring, these politicians are questioning MAS’s motives as if the long-planned and widely-reported purchase of new planes had been a sudden decision.
13. On top of this, many of our local politicians seem blissfully unaware that back in March 2017, Malaysia was listed as one of the 16 countries that the US Government wants to investigate as a “trade cheat” due to our continuing significant trade surpluses with the USA.
14. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with our Prime Minister reassuring the USA that Malaysia understands trade goes both ways and that there are significant trade and investment flows from Malaysia to the USA too.
15. As a coalition – where one of their senior leaders had recently stated that the president of the most powerful country in the world is a ‘dunggu’ and he would not want to meet with him even if there is a chance – I advise Pakatan to abstain from commenting on international diplomacy as they do not seem to understand its intricacies and sensitivities.
16. There is little doubt that our Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Razak has had a sterling record in international diplomacy and relations. He has our country’s best interest in mind, and unlike Pakatan, he knows what he is doing. -MYNEWSHUB.CC