A-G sounds alarm over EPF's RM6.5b investments abroad

PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the A-G had voiced his concern upon noting the pension fund had chalked up RM6.46 billion in real estate investments abroad last year. — Reuters pic
PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the A-G had voiced his concern upon noting the pension fund had chalked up RM6.46 billion in real estate investments abroad last year. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Auditor-General (A-G) Tan Sri Ambrin Buang has urged Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to check the Employees Provident Fund’s growing investments overseas.

PAC chairman Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the A-G had voiced his concern upon noting the pension fund had chalked up RM6.46 billion in real estate investments abroad last year.

The Umno lawmaker also noted that investments abroad were beyond the oversight of local regulators.

“The auditor-general wants to know what the investments are for and how they are derived, EPF’s plans for it and whether they are risky or not and if we can get our money back.

“There might even be elements of corruption. We don’t know,” he told reporters at Parliament today.

He commended EPF for its successes, calling its real estate and infrastructure investments overseas, particularly in Australia, as “well managed.”

“But is public money... it will give us some comfort knowing how the money is being utilised and their monies are well-managed by the EPF,” he added.

According to audit report, EPF’s investment in Australia for 2013 amounted to RM586.66 million of which RM14.36 million were investments in real estate and infrastructure.

“EPF recorded a gross investment income amounting to RM35 billion in 2013 as compared to RM31.02 billion in the year 2012 and RM27.23 billion in the year 2011,” noted the report.

“EPF’s return on investment from real estate and infrastructure amounted to RM1.14 billion in 2013, an achievement of 122.5 per cent above the targeted annual return of RM930 million,” added the report.

The Pulai MP said the returns, which was 7.9 per cent, was “healthy” but added that PAC has to keep tabs on the pension funds policies “in case something goes wrong”. 

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