CYBERJAYA: There is no hidden agenda or personal interest behind Sime Darby Bhd’s planned purchase of a 51% stake in the National Heart Institute (IJN).
The company merely hoped to boost the quality of service at IJN, chairman Tun Musa Hitam told reporters yesterday after attending a meeting of the Malaysia-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG) “I believe services offered by IJN can be further improved by engaging more specialists, be they local or foreign, in heart-related areas of medicine,” he said.
“In fact, the move will enable the institute to acquire more facilities and equipment without having to worry about financing.
“I urge the public not to have a negative perception of Sime Darby’s plans,” he said.
According to published reports on Dec 18, Sime Darby said it was seeking to acquire a stake in IJN Holdings Sdn Bhd, which operates the heart institute.
The company had written to the Government about its intention and was awaiting a response.
IJN, a leading heart medical centre in the region, offering comprehensive cardiac services under one roof, is 99.99% owned by the Ministry of Finance Inc.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the Cabinet had deferred a decision to enable the ministries of Finance and Health, and the Economic Planning Unit to carry out an in-depth study on Sime Darby’s proposal.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the study would focus on the Government’s social responsibilities towards the people and safeguard the interests of the people.
Musa stressed that the proposed takeover plan would not affect pensioners and those in the low-income bracket seeking treatment at the institute.
“For example, the Subang Jaya Medical Centre owned by Sime Darby sets aside RM3mil a year to provide treatment for these groups,” he said.
“I believe similar assistance will be provided to the needy if Sime Darby takes over IJN,” said Musa.