Najib rues Sell, Sell, Sell mentality of PH govt

Former prime minister Najib Razak made a Malaysia Day address in a live online broadcast this evening. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has accused the Pakatan Harapan-run federal government of a Sell, Sell, Sell mentality by constantly seeking to dispose of national assets to foreigners.

“Jual, jual, jual (sell, sell, sell),” Najib said in a Malaysia Day message streamed live on his Facebook page. “Is this the only thing the government knows what to do?”

Najib said government-linked companies were being sold one by one. He cited Japan-based Mitsui’s RM8.4 billion purchase of a 16% stake held by Khazanah Nasional Berhad in IHH Healthcare Bhd, and stakes in Malaysia’s fresh dairy producer Farm Fresh now being owned by a foreign company as some examples.

He also questioned the future of the national carrier, Malaysia Airlines, which he said is hanging by a thread, and talk of “interested parties” wishing to buy over PLUS highways.

“If this continues, what of Khazanah and remaining assets?” Najib asked. “What else is there for us and the next generation?”

In a written posting earlier today, Najib had accused the PH government of being willing to forgo RM3,560 billion in future asset value of Khazanah’s holdings in order to save RM104 billion in interest payments on loans taken by the federal government.

He made the remark when commenting on news that Khazanah Nasional had received an offer of RM2.08 billion to buy out its 51% interest in a toll-road concession in Indonesia.

Najib said sarcastically “Just sell it. Doesn’t the minister of finance need money?” in a reference to government claims that the nation’s coffers were bare because of enormous debts piled up by Najib’s government.

In his video message tonight, Najib also criticised housing minister Zuraida Kamaruddin’s plan for a Home Ownership Campaign to persuade people in Hong Kong and China to buy property in Malaysia, where there is a glut of high-end homes.

Najib said he wasn’t sure how much land that Pakatan Harapan wanted to sell off to foreigners. He noted that PH had formerly accused BN of “selling off assets” to China in the past.

Now that the tables have turned, he said, it was only a matter of time before “every inch of land in Malaysia will soon be owned by foreigners”.

On the contrary, BN prioritised development projects for the people, like the future toll-less Pan Borneo Highway in East Malaysia, the Mass Rapid Transit project and the Central Spine Road, affordable housing and the 1Malaysia People’s Aid, Najib said.

“Now, only the selling of assets and enriching cronies has become the daily routine of Pakatan Harapan.”

Najib said the people no longer hear what the government’s plans are for states that were so not developed or “high-impact” plans for Sabah and Sarawak either. “It’s just sell, sell, sell. Crony, crony, crony.”

He urged Malaysians not to stand by and let it come to be that their own villages get in danger of being lost.

“The land of our independence is our priceless treasure. This is our motherland. These are the riches that came to be… and defended by Barisan Nasional because it belongs to us, the rakyat, and the future generation.”

PH willing to give up RM3,560 billion in order to save RM104 billion

In his earlier posting, Najib commented on news that Khazanah Nasional had received an offer of RM2.08 billion to buy out its 51% interest in a toll-road concession in Indonesia.

“It’s really strange,” Najib said. “How was it that the former BN government had purportedly sold the country and was accused of making Malaysia bankrupt, yet was able to build up so many national assets – including hundreds of billions in foreign assets that the PH government can put up for sale?”

He said that during his tenure as prime minister, Khazanah’s net assets (less debt) rose from RM33.7 billion in 2008 to RM115.6 billion at the end of 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 14.7%.

“If this rate of return is continued for 25 more years, the value of Khazanah’s assets will rise to RM3.56 trillion (RM3,560 billion). However, if the PH government sold off Khazanah’s RM115.6 billion assets in order to save on repayment of debts at 4% per annum, or is spent by the current PH government, it would save only RM104.5 billion in debt over the next 25 years.

“But I’m not sure the PH Minister knows the difference between RM3.56 trillion and RM104.5 billion,” he said.