Khazanah defiant on tycoon’s bid for PLUS

Plus Highway logo

By Ali Amir

Khazanah Nasional Bhd appears to be unperturbed with the RM30 billion mega financial package that is being put together by a group of middle-eastern bankers for tycoon and Maju Holdings group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid

It is believed that Khazanah is yet to meet Abu Sahid as insiders have deemed his bid “as not being serious” and that the “deal is likely to fall flat” in the light of the fact that PLUS is better off in the stable of UEM and EPF.

Leaving aside the validity or otherwise of that argument, would it not be important for Khazanah to view all proposal that is on its table in order to clearly ascertain that it can unlock the value of its assets at the right time so that it can optimise its return.

Khazanah is 100% wholly-owned by the Government of Malaysia and its indifference to Abu Sahid’s bid is a case in point of what Khazanah, the custodian of national treasures should not be doing.

While Khazanah has its own policies and programmes, it should be dynamic, agile and move swiftly to consider all proposals that are on the table with the view of maximising its returns and by extension the returns to its shareholders which is the government of Malaysia or the people of Malaysia.

Consideration of proposal does not mean accepting the proposal but rather evaluating the proposal to see if it is in the best interest of Khazanah. Towards achieving this, it would need to have a timely look at the proposal and give it its due consideration.

This principle is paramount as money has a time value and with the flux of time, its value would erode.This would necessitate managers of assets to respond swiftly and decisively to all proposals.

Government-linked companies do not have the luxury of embracing the culture of the government machinery as the consideration before a GLC is to maximise profits against the traditional role of the government in maximising the social welfare of the people.

Ali Amir is from WarisanMelayuRiau