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Can Anwar deny or confirm MAHB's deal involving BlackRock?

The prime minister must break his silence about  sale of MAHB shares to GIP.

P Ramasamy
2 minute read

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has raised an important point regarding the sale of 30% stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a company owned by US fund manager BlackRock.

He expressed surprise as to why a foreign company with ties to Israel should be allowed to purchase shares in MAHB when it is already in a good financial position.

Last year, MAHB made a profit of over RM500 million.

If MAHB is doing well, why does it need to sell its shares to a controversial foreign company?

For Mahathir, the issue is not so much about selling shares of local companies to foreign ones, but why this should be done when local companies are doing well.

It is understandable when local or Malaysian companies are not doing well financially. In such circumstances, it may make sense for companies to sell some of their shares to foreigners.

So far, the transport ministry or those in charge of MAHB have been silent on the sales.

When questioned by the opposition, the government replied that nothing had been decided yet.

However, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, justified the sale on the grounds that most large companies, including Apple, have business interests in Israel.

This was a kind of confirmation that MAHB shareholders are seriously considering to divest shares to the US company, despite its strategic economic interests in Israel.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has not explained the proposed deal, preferring to leave the matter to Zafrul and Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Mahathir may have been wrong about many things, but his questioning of the government on the sale of MAHB shares is very apt.

If MAHB is making a profit, why is it selling its shares to a US company with strategic interests in Israel?

Can Anwar deny or confirm the deal?

If the deal has not materialised, he could give some good news to his friends in Hamas.

Surely Anwar knows that it is not possible to sell MAHB shares to a US company with strategic interests in Israel and at the same time maintain friendly relations with Hamas.

P Ramasamy is the former deputy chief minister of Penang.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.