Dr M confident Malaysia can ride out global recession

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Sep 2019

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed confidence that the country can weather what appears to be a looming global recession, saying there are people who "know some ways".

"This country, if well managed, can escape the recession.

"We have been attacked before, and we have come out of it," he said in an interview with BFM during the Breakfast Grille show on Tuesday morning (Sept 17).

"We feel we have with us people who are very conscious about these things (and) who knows some ways of avoiding the decline in the economy," he added.

On Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Dr Mahathir said the company must stick to its core businesses, adding that it had invested in things which were not within their scope.

"The original idea was that Khazanah should only buy shares which were not taken up, but they have now invested in a lot of other things.

"Some of these are not really within their core business. So, what is outside their core business, I think Khazanah should dispose of. As Khazanah is partly government-owned, we can therefore derive some benefit from the disposal."

"They have to stick to the core business," he said.

Khazanah is a government-linked company (GLC) that was set up by Dr Mahathir in 1993 during his first long tenure as Prime Minister.

When asked if GLCs had crowded out the private sector, Dr Mahathir said this was due to GLCs not concentrating on just the core businesses.

On the troubled national airline Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS), Dr Mahathir said they were still looking for solutions.

He said the situation in the airline had not changed, with losses remaining high despite the previous government giving the airline RM6bil and sacking 6,000 people.

He said the government was open to the idea of a part of the company being sold off to foreign companies.

"We are not against that idea, but there are some people who are very sentimental. Perhaps, they want to see MAS owned entirely by Malaysians but there are no Malaysian investors strong enough to take it up," he said.

Khazanah is also the sole shareholder of the airline, taking MAS private in 2014.

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