Businesses hope BN will win, wary of Supermax issue

A Japanese financial magazine says businesses hope that infrastructure projects will continue with a BN victory.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies are hoping for a Barisan Nasional victory in the general election so that current infrastructure projects will be continued, according to the Japanese financial magazine Nikkei Asian Review.

It said the corporate sector preferred stability and to keep a low profile so as not to run foul of the government.

The report also referred to the Supermax Corp. issue as showing how running afoul of the government could have “nasty consequences”.

The company’s founder and managing director apologised to the government this week for having sided with the opposition in the previous general election.

The Nikkei report said many companies were “quietly hoping the current government maintains its hold on power in order to finish the infrastructure projects that are driving the economy”.

The Barisan Nasional has promised to develop the country’s rail and road links, many of which are under construction or in the planning stages.

Nikkei Review quoted analyst Adib Zalkapli as saying: “Generally, businesses expect continuity and certainty, as any major changes to policies would affect the business environment.”

Supermax founder and managing director Stanley Thai, who is appealing against an insider-trading sentence, apologised to the prime minister, Najib Razak, this week, saying he had been influenced by opposition propaganda in the previous general election.

Thai said businesses in Malaysia would prosper under the government’s sound economic policy, foreign investors would continue to have confidence, drive economic growth, and expand their investments in Malaysia.

In making his apology, he said: “As a member of the business community I like to see political stability.” He acknowledged having shared the stage with opposition leaders at an election rally in the 2013 campaign.

Thai was charged with insider trading the following year involving shares of a subsidiary and was sentenced in November last yeaer to five-year jail sentence and fined RM5 million. He has filed an appeal.

After Thai made his apology, the company’s share rose as much as 6.9% on Monday and closed at RM2.68, eight sen or 3.08% higher than the previous day.,

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