The procurement of Boeing jets and the expression of Employee Provident Fund’s (EPF) investment in US equity has nothing to do with “strengthening” the US economy, said treasurer-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah
“The allegation and idea that certain quarters claimed otherwise that we want to help US’ economy is baseless,” he told the reporter when met at the Finance Ministry today.
He said EPF’s job was to invest and generate returns to depositors, and that equity investments was the fund’s business.
As for Malaysia Airlines, Irwan said the airline had to buy new planes to expand their business.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak told US President Donald Trump at the White House that Malaysia had several propositions to the US.
“Number one, we want to help you in terms of strengthening the US economy,” said Najib.
Won’t involve public funds
He also revealed that the EPF was looking to invest between US$3 billion to US$4 billion in US equity to support the country’s “infrastructure redevelopment.”
Najib also told Trump that MAS would procure 25 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners.
Najib’s speech at the White House was severely condemnedby critics back home, who accused him of having misplaced priorities by pledging to bring funds abroad at a time when Putrajaya was undertaking austerity measures.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad also mocked Najib for suggesting that Malaysia – a third world country – was capable of helping the US economy.
Meanwhile, Irwan dismissed suggestions that public funds would be used to help MAS procure the Boeing jets.
“No public funds will be used,” said Irwan.
MAS is 69 percent-owned by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd.