Malaysiakini News

Gov't plans for Khazanah will see the return of crony capitalism

Wee Ka Siong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

MP SPEAKS | Last Friday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir claimed that national sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional had deviated from its original objective of helping the bumiputera.

Mahathir now wants Khazanah Nasional to eventually hand over its profitable assets to certain bumiputera individuals.

When the transformation programme 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 tycoons, towards a model where the wealth of the country was shared by all, especially among the B40 income group.

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. It plays a vital role in investing in sectors and companies that are of strategic importance to our country.

It has 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 Pakatan Harapan government to reconsider its 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 this will herald a return to crony capitalism.

Who decides to which businessperson or individual Khazanah should divest its profitable assets?

The government should assist all Malaysians and not just a few selected individuals.

The Harapan government must abandon its plans to change the role and objectives of Khazanah.


WEE KA SIONG is Ayer Hitam MP and MCA deputy president

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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