Najib: Pakatan’s blunders caused fall in Tabung Haji dividends

Former prime minister Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak today pinned the drop in Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) dividends on blunders committed by Pakatan Harapan leaders in government.

The former prime minister said investors had been “petrified” by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s declaration that Malaysia incurred a national debt of RM1 trillion, and a Singapore Straits Times report quoting a senior official in Putrajaya who said that the pilgrims’ fund was short of RM4 billion.

Citing media reports, Najib, who was previously the finance minister, said investors had dumped shares in companies linked to TH especially after a list was circulated among market players about which shares to sell before TH could do so.

Najib said TH had then experienced its worst ever drop in share price in December 2018, which caused its deficit to surge to RM10.9 billion.

“It is unfortunate that PH’s propaganda of attacking the Barisan Nasional in the fourth quarter of last year back fired and destroyed Tabung Haji” he said in a Facebook posting.

On Friday, the pilgrims fund announced a dividend of 1.25% amounting to RM913 million for the financial year 2018, a sharp drop from the 6.25% dividend paid out for the previous year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mujahid Yusof Rawa blamed the fund’s woes on poor governance and mismanagement in the past.

He also claimed that the accounts were manipulated to distribute dividends despite the growing deficit.

At a ceramah yesterday, Najib said the reason the dividends declined was because of the fall in stock prices.

He said after the May 9 polls, the stock market lost as much as RM270 billion, adding that during his time as the prime minister, the stock exchange was at the “highest level”.