Where are your turnaround plans, KJ asks govt as Khazanah records RM6.3 bil loss

Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin says the economic situation now is worse than before the last general election.

PETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has not revealed any concrete plans to turn the economy around, former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said today in response to Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s loss of RM6.3 billion for 2018, its first loss in 10 years.

Khairy said that despite the rising stock prices, the current economic situation was worse than before the general election in May last year.

This, coupled with the “flip-flop and U-turn” decisions of the PH administration, had led to uncertainty in investor sentiment, which affected the sovereign wealth fund, he said.

Taking to Facebook today, Khairy said Khazanah had posted a pre-tax profit of RM2.9 billion in 2017.

He said that last year, Khazanah-linked companies saw a significant downturn which gave it negative returns.

For example, Telekom Malaysia Berhad shares, which were at RM5 before GE14, were down to RM3.09 yesterday, after falling to as low as RM2.15 on Oct 26, 2018.

“CIMB shares dropped from RM6.90 before GE14 to RM5.30 after GE14. Axiata shares have also fallen from RM5.49 to RM3.25.

“In other words, almost all of Khazanah’s key portfolio of investments did not give any positive returns,” he said.

Khairy said Khazanah had managed to increase its total assets from RM34 billion to over RM115.6 billion in the past 10 years.

However, the key individuals who had helmed the sovereign wealth fund, led by Azman Mokhtar, had been changed under the PH leadership, he said.

Khairy said the government had not come up with any concrete plans to revive the economy.

“What we hear are plans to produce a flying car, which they now say will be used only for agricultural purposes.

“We also hear that the government wants to bring back the F1 races,” he said, adding that “there is no economic direction”.

Khairy said Malaysians had not forgotten how Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali had revealed that Khazanah had invested RM80 million in a failed online lingerie business.

Khazanah’s total losses in 2018, he said, were 7,775% higher than this RM80 million loss.

Azmin had mentioned this lingerie venture when questioned in the Dewan Rakyat how Khazanah had deviated from its original objectives.

“(They sell)… bras. In the end, the investment had to be written off. This is just one of the smallest instance,” he said, adding Khazanah has to function according to what it was set up to do.