MAHB sale to foreign company is false narrative by Opposition, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Talks of the sale of Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) to a foreign company which is to be taken over by Blackrock is a false narrative created by the Opposition, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister lambasted the Opposition who played up the issue although they had dealt with Blackrock directly when they were in power.

"They forget that there was an important decision to give Blackrock an important decision on Feb 26, 2021.

"Pagoh was then Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), who with former ministers on the otherside, decided to hand over the management of Employees Provident Fund's (EPF) separate managed account and Syariah private equity fund worth about RM2.5bil to Blackrock to manage.

"At that, I defended it and did not politicise it," he said when answering a question raised by Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar) in Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday. (June 25)

Presently, he said that negotiations were for Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the EPF to acquire a 70% stake in MAHB while 30% would be held by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

"This is different from the narrative created outside as though it involves the sale of MAHB.

"There is no such sale of MAHB to a foreign company," he said.

Anwar also noted that GIP issued an official statement stating that Blackrock would not be involved in the management of the airports under MAHB.

ALSO READ: Khazanah, EPF on MAHB privatisation and future benefits

"This exercise only involves the management of the airports remaining the property of the Malaysian government," he added.

He noted that EPF has also previously been involved with GIP since 2012 to manage the airports in London Gatwick in the UK and Sydney, Australia.

Anwar stressed that his administration has been stern in its stand against having direct trade with Israeli companies.

"Our stand against Israeli companies is the most stern in our government's history.

"Only the Madani government decided to stop all direct trade with Israeli companies including ZIM (Israel-based shipping company) which was still using our ports last year," he said.

Anwar questioned why such actions were not taken by the previous administration as the ZIM had been operating since 2002.

On Blackrock, he said is the world's largest asset fund manager and has interest worth RM20.5bil in the local stock market.

He added this involves holding equity in Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Telekom Malaysia and PETRONAS including some RM7bil belonging to the government and corporate sector.

He said that it was not realistic for the government to call off any deals with companies that have an interest in Israel.

ALSO READ: Analysts advise investors to cash in on RM11/share MAHB offer

“This includes Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia.

"They all have interests in Israel, do we have to cancel (our trades)?

"It might sound good, people will be happy to hear and call us fighters but this is not realistic.

“In my discussion with Hamas, this issue did not even arise," he said.

On the issue of national security, Anwar said that it would not be compromised as the chairman and chief executive officer of MAHB would still be a Malaysian.

He said the overall security of the nation remains firmly with the government.

"Who said that our security will be compromised?” he said.

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MAHB , Anwar , Blackrock , Dewan Rakyat , Israel


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