Govt still scrutinising proposals for takeover of Khazanah's stake in PLUS

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): The government is still scrutinising the various proposals received to take over Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s 51% stake in PLUS Malaysia Bhd.

Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government was evaluating the impact of the takeover from the financial aspect and in fullfilling the responsibility to the highway users by reducing the cost of using it.

"Among the steps we are thinking about is to reduce the toll rate or if we can abolish toll in the near term, because if we are to refer to the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, it does not state that.

"The manifesto clearly states that we will discuss in stages with the concessionaires. This is all being still considered as we do not want to burden the government’s present financial position, while extending assistance to the people and highway users,” he told reporters after the Malaysia SDG Summit 2019 here today.

Mohamed Azmin said this when asked to comment on a news reports that the Finance Ministry (MoF) would take over Khazanah’s stake in PLUS.

According to the news report, the MoF is believed to be eyeing Khazanah's stake as Putrajaya seeks to prevent the much sought-after asset from falling into private companies.

Citing sources, it also said the MoF would buy the stake in the country's biggest highway concession holder and retain the asset within the public sector, while the proposed acquisition would be brought to the Cabinet for deliberation soon.

Mohamed Azmin said he had yet to see the reported proposal by the MoF.

“We have no decision as now (PLUS) is 51% owned by Khazanah and the Employees Provident Fund at 49%. Technically, both are investment arms of the government, so we will see how they can assist in supporting the government’s policy to reduce toll on the said highway.

"I have not seen the proposal (by MoF) as I believe it is being scrutinised by the Works Ministry," he added.

Putrajaya had previously confirmed receiving four official offers from interested parties to take over PLUS, namely Widad Group Bhd, Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, RRJ Capital and businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad.

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