Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin has finally admitted that the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) had given a RM500 million loan to Time dotCom in 1996.

Time dotCom has pledged to repay half the loan while the balance will be settled in the form of share equity.

Two weeks ago, EPF chairperson, Abdul Halim Ali denied that the fund had purchased shares of the beleaguered company which had not been subscribed during its recent initial public offering.

However, Abdul Halim admitted that EPF had approved a RM500 million loan to 'salvage' the Halim Saad company (via Time Telecommunications Holdings, a subsidiary of Time Engineering Bhd).

EPF, which has 9.7 million contributors, is the largest fund in the country with a total of RM180 billion in deposits.

The fund is managed by a board of directors who are assisted by expert advisors while matters of investment are tabled by its investment panel.

There are six workers union representatives on the EPF board, including the presidents of MTUC and Cuepacs respectively.

Concerning its involvement with Time dotCom, one cannot help but ponder whether it was a wise decision on the part of its directors and the investment panel?

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