KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Proceeds from the assets disposal of government-linked investment companies (GLiCs) were not credited directly into the government account, said Economic Affairs Deputy Minister, Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
He said the payments received by the government from the GLiCs were in the form of annual dividends and taxes only.
“Proceeds from the assets disposal were used by the GLiCs for the purpose of making new investments and servicing their debts,” he said in his written reply posted on Parliament’s website today.
Ayer Hitam Member of Parliament, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) had asked the ministry to state the breakdown of the country’s assets that had been sold including IHH Healthcare Berhad, Sapura Upstream, CIMB Group Holdings Berhad, Acibadem Sigorta and Boustead Plantations.
Wee also wanted clarification on the sale of the country’s assets, which did not seem to reduce the its debts.
Mohd Radzi said during the year 2009 to April 2018, Khazanah had divested 84 times with the proceeds worth RM46.16 billion.
“From May 2018 until June 2019, it had divested 22 times with proceeds worth RM18.76 billion,” he added.
Mohd Radzi said the disposal of assets was a common practice and part of the company’s business model that had been agreed upon.
“Otherwise, a company like Khazanah cannot survive if it is too dependent on dividends which are not worth much, so in order to expand, Khazanah’s assets must be disposed of in order to pay off the company’s debts,” he said.
At a Dewan Rakyat sitting last week, Economic Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said all proceeds from the disposal of shares, assets and interests of Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah) fully belonged to the sovereign wealth fund and were not used to pay off the government’s debts.
Mohamed Azmin said it was normal practice for Khazanah to use the proceeds to make new investments in addition to paying off its debts which were almost due. — Bernama