Govt to complete buyback of Bernas stake soon

SUNGAI PETANI: The Government is expected to complete the buyback of Wang Tak Co Ltd’s 31.26% stake in Padiberas Nasional Bhd’s (Bernas) soon.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the process to buy back the shares was expected to be completed within two or three months.

”Negotiations to buy back the shares, which are in final stage, started last year after the Government was aware of the company’s stake.

”Wang Tak agrees to sell its interest to a bumiputra company,” he told a media briefing after chairing Umno Merbok’s branch meeting here yesterday.       

Noh said this when asked to comment on concerns raised by several parties on the major equity ownership by a foreign company in the country’s national rice supplier company.

“The rakyat need not worry because the Government is aware of the stake. The Government has the ‘golden share’, giving it the absolute power to decide on the direction of Bernas.

“This means any action by Bernas will need the approval of the Government before it is undertaken,” he said.

He said the Padi and Rice Control Act did not allow non-citizens to be a member of Bernas board of directors.

Noh, however, declined to name the company which was given the right to buy back the shares from Wang Tak. — Bernama

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