PUTRAJAYA — Sept 28, 2017: The government is concerned over Maju Holdings’ proposal to buy PLUS because it doesn’t want the nation’s strategic assets to eventually fall into foreign hands if they were sold.
When commenting on this today, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani spoke of similar proposals that were rejected.
“We do not know the source of the fund. If it is an offshore borrowing we are worried that national assets would fall into foreign hands if a loan could not be paid,” he said on the sidelines of Fiesta Labur PNB 2017 here.
Maju Holdings recently disclosed that it had made a bid of more than RM36 billion to take over PLUS Malaysia Berhad. PLUS is controlled by the UEM Group and the Employees’ Provident Fund.
The Khazanah Nasional-owned UEM has a 51 per cent stake of the highway concessionaire while EPF owns the rest.
Bernama recently reported that if EPF were to sell its stake, some 14.5 million contributors may lose out on a steady stream of dividend.
However, they could heave a sigh of relief as EPF Chief Executive Officer Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan had assured them that EPF did not intend to sell its stake.
At the event, Johari said Bank Negara´s findings on the low financial literacy among Malaysians was a cause for concern for the government.
This is because lack of financial understanding and management knowledge can bring about some disadvantages, including uncontrollable debt burden commitment and living beyond one’s means.
“Through Fiesta Labur, the government hopes Malaysians will be more sensitive to good financial planning and management practices,” said Johari.
Held for the second time, the PNB´s three-day Fiesta Labur offers financial planning services for free, as well as financial activities.