Questions arise over govt‘s healthcare firm sale

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 02 Dec 2018

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has questioned the rationale behind the sale of IHH Healthcare Berhad, a government-developed international multinational healthcare provider to a Japanese company.

“We are very disappointed that IHH Healthcare, which was built and developed by the previous government to become an international multinational company and a leader in the healthcare industry, would be a Japanese company.

“Is this the prelude of Pakatan Harapan government selling more national strategic assets that were amassed and strengthened during the previous administration?” asked the MCA president in a Facebook post yesterday.

Dr Wee, who is also Ayer Hitam MP, said that Khazanah Nasional Bhd is selling down its shares in IHH Healthcare at RM8.42bil, when the company’s shares were lower following the collapse of the country’s stock market since the 14th General Election.

In a statement on Thursday, Khazanah Nasional confirmed that it has entered into an agreement with Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd to sell down its stake in IHH Healthcare, marking the start of an asset rationalisation exercise.

Khazanah said it will divest 1.4 billion shares or a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare to Mitsui & Co Ltd at RM6 per share for RM8.42bil cash.

Taking a swipe at the Pakatan leaders who had been claiming that the country was being sold off under Barisan Nasional’s ruling, Dr Wee wanted the government to explain what the plan was to use the proceeds from the sale of the country’s asset.

“Will it be used to finance the third national car as previously mentioned by the Prime Minister that it would not be an obstacle for Khazanah to be involved in the project?

“Or will it be used to finance the crooked bridge project, in which the Johor state government has confirmed that its construction will begin next year?” he said.

Dr Wee also questioned if the sale of shares was related to Japan’s offer to guarantee 200 billion yen or RM7.4bil of Samurai bond issuance with 10-year tenure, which is expected to be issued before March next year.

“We need answers to these questions. Was it not the Pakatan leaders themselves who often claimed that the country was being sold off before this? But now it has really happened,” he added.

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