Asset sales not FDI – Najib scoffs at Guan Eng’s claim

Najib Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has ridiculed finance minister Lim Guan Eng’s claim that Malaysia had achieved RM21.7 billion in realised foreign direct investments for one quarter.

Lim had said earlier today that the country received the RM21.7 billion in the first quarter of this year – which he claimed was the highest realised FDI in Malaysia’s history. Of the total, RM8.4 billion was from Japan; RM3.7 billion from Austria and RM2.8 billion from Hong Kong.

But Najib said he had checked a Bank Negara report which showed that the RM8.4 billion investment from Japan was, in fact, the proceeds from the sale of Khazanah Nasional’s stake in IHH Healthcare Berhad to Mitsui of Japan.

IHH Healthcare is Asia’s largest private health care group. Najib said IHH was set up during his tenure as prime minister.

He said that the RM3.7 billion “Austrian investment” was the proceeds from the purchase of a 50% stake in Sapura Upstream Sdn Bhd by OMV Exploration & Production GmbH of Austria.

He said Permodalan Nasional Bhd held a 40% stake in Sapura Energy which fully owned Sapura Upstream prior to the 50% divestment to OMV.

“These two sales were announced in the fourth quarter of last year, but the monies only came in this year, and therefore it was only regarded as realised investment in the first quarter of this year,” said Najib, who was the finance minister in the previous government.

“(Guan Eng’s) theatrical skills as the finance minister has gone up a level,” said Najib in a posting on Facebook.