Govt rapped for losing RM52b Bumi shares

PKR finds it strange musing that Umno-BN, which is responsible for the billions of ringgit lost through mismanagement, wants to take credit for raising Malay equity to 22%.

(Free Malaysia Today) – PKR has slammed the government for losing RM52 billion worth of Bumiputera shares just to bump up Malay equity.

The party found it strange that the government wanted to take credit for raising Malay equity to 22%, when it should have achieved a 30% target in 1990.

“After 21 years and billions’ worth of mismanagement and abuses made in the name of the Malays, Umno-BN (Barisan Nasional) is willing to take credit for any incremental increase in Bumiputera equity ownership,” said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.

Last week, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said that Bumiputera share distribution through IPOs (initial public offerings) had added to higher Malay equity.

Saifuddin, however, said that the distribution of shares to Bumiputeras had resulted in the loss of RM52 billion out of RM54 billion.

In 2009, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had admitted that only RM2 billion from the RM54 billion of Bumiputera shares given since 1971 remained in Malay hands.

Saifuddin said the situation repeated itself in 2010 when more than 1.5 billion shares from 18 IPOs were allegedly distributed to Bumiputera investors.

He said the shares in Petronas Chemical Group Bhd and Malaysian Marine and Heavy Engineering Holding Bhd had issue prices of RM5.05 and RM3.61 per share respectively.

Saifuddin said that these shares should be valued at a few billion ringgit.

He urged Mustapa to disclose the recipients of the 1.5 billion shares. He also urged that these shares not go the same way as the lost RM52 billion.

Saifuddin also alleged that the billions of shares given over the years had only benefited a small Malay ruling elite, instead of the greater Malay population in the country.

Hence, he said the government needed to change its focus from the 30% equity target and focus on raising the collective household income of the Malays.