Last Friday, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir claimed that national sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional had deviated from its original objective of helping the Bumiputera.
Tun Mahathir now wants Khazanah Nasional to eventually hand-over its profitable assets to certain Bumiputera individuals.
When the transformation program was launched a decade ago, the past BN government had tried to steer the country away from the practice of crony capitalism that had previously enriched certain favoured tycoons to a model where the wealth of the country was shared by all – especially among the B40 income group.
During this time, the net assets of Khazanah had increased from RM33.7 billion at the end of 2008 to RM115.6 billion at the end of last year.
Khazanah had been contributing regular dividends to the government and had played a vital role to invest in sectors and companies that are of strategic importance to our country.
Khazanah had always played a crucial role as a sovereign fund for Malaysia – similar to that of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.
This is why I urge the PH government to reconsider their recently announced plans to change the role of Khazanah Nasional and eventually force it to divest its shares in profitable companies to a select few bumiputera individuals.
Forcing Khazanah to divest its profitable companies to selected individuals will open the doors for favoured or politically connected individuals to be enriched and herald a return to crony capitalism and piratization.
Who decides then to which businessman or individual Khazanah should divest its profitable assets?
The government should assist all Malaysians and not just a few selected individuals.
The PH government must abandon its plans to change the role and objectives of Khazanah Nasional.