- Advertisement -

BlackRock: Anwar still hasn't answered Mahathir's valid questions

The presence of BlackRock in the country is no excuse for Anwar to defend the plan to sell MAHB shares.

P Ramasamy
3 minute read

I find it incredulous that if BlackRock takes over Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a partner in the privatisation of Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB), the management will remain in the hands of GIP.

This was Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's response in Parliament when asked about direct or indirect links to BlackRock, which has ties to the Israeli defence industry.

In other words, how the government can allow GIP to have a stake in MAHB when the company is owned by BlackRock,the nefarious global fund manager which could indirectly contribute to the Israeli genocide against the Palestinians.

The fact that BlackRock was present in the country in 2021 with investments in the region totalling RM2.57 billion is no excuse for Anwar to defend the company's entry through GIP as a shareholder in MAHB.

While Anwar defends the government's ties with US companies, he has not answered former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed's legitimate question as to why a profitable GLC like MAHB needs to be privatised.

Mind you, this question comes from Mahathir, the architect of privatisation in the country.

Anwar, for all his drama about supporting the Palestinian cause, does not seem to be very serious when it comes to taking a consistent stand on the issue.

Anwar meets with Hamas and other Arab leaders to invoke the image of his unwavering belief in the Palestinian cause.

However, his recent defence of BlackRock's purchase of MAHB shares by GIP raises questions as to whether he is serious about advancing the Palestinian cause.

I think Anwar’s support for the Palestinian cause is more about gaining domestic political traction than anything else.

Whatever can be said about Mahathir, he had and still has the courage to tell off the US and others as an obstacle to a just solution to the Palestinian cause.

Anwar has the golden opportunity to show his commitment to the Palestinian cause by stopping the sale of shares to BlackRock-owned GIP.

Why privatise when MAHB is making profits? Why privatise and expose Malaysian airports to foreigners who may have evil intentions against our national security?

Airports are strategic assets that need to be protected from those who may have other interests. Surely I do not need to lecture Anwar on this matter.

I agree that BlackRock should not have been invited surreptitiously into the country in 2021. Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin cannot throw stones at the government and still pretend that BlackRock is a new phenomenon in Malaysia.

I suppose the government was emboldened to endorse BlackRock’s purchase of shares in MAHB through GIP because of BlackRock's previous presence in the country.

It is not too late to stop the privatisation of MAHB, unless the government is hiding the truth.

Even if privatisation is acceptable, why invite nefarious companies like BlackRock to buy shares directly or indirectly.

Anwar’s argument that even if BlackRock makes an investment, decisions are  in the hands of GIP is not acceptable at all. Anwar talks as if we were all born yesterday.

BlackRock's global reputation is too well known for Anwar to dismiss allegations about the company's role in the genocide of Palestinians.

Anwar wants to present himself as a champion of Palestinians, but when the opportunity arises to reject BlackRock with Palestinians blood on its hands, he backs down.

The problem with Anwar, from the time of his involvement in the 1997 Asian financial crisis until today, is his pro-US stand.

I wonder why he has not cultivated his relationship with the US to advance the Palestinian cause?

P Ramasamy is chairman of political party Urimai and 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.