KHAZANAH Nasional Bhd is forced to sell assets to pay off debts racked up by the Najib Razak administration, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
The previous Barisan Nasional government borrowed more than RM1 trillion and the burden is now on Putrajaya to repay the money that is not invested but hidden and stolen, Dr Mahathir said at the launch of Piagam Warisan in Kuala Lumpur today.
“What is of no benefit to us, we will sell to clear the debts. You must remember that the previous government borrowed more than RM1 trillion. That’s a burden for us.
“They borrowed and didn’t invest it. The money was hidden and stolen. If the money was invested, we can go to the company or whatever to get back the money, but we don’t know where the funds are.
“So for now, we have to pay from taxes or sell off assets to pay off the debt. That’s the burden left by Najib.”
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly accused Najib of stealing funds and the former prime minister is now facing multiple corruption and money-laundering charges related to another sovereign wealth fund – 1MDB – and SRC International.
In April, Khazanah sold a 16% stake in IHH Healthcare to Mitsui & Co for RM8.42 billion.
Three days ago, Khazanah divested its 100% interest in Prince Court Medical Centre Sdn Bhd (PCMC), which operates a healthcare facility in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, to IHH Healthcare Bhd for RM1.02 billion cash.
Such moves have attracted criticism from Umno leaders, including Najib, who accused Pakatan Harapan of selling off national assets and accumulating debts of almost RM100 billion.
“National assets worth billions of ringgit have been sold off while billions in Petronas money used (by the government),” he said in a Facebook post today.
He said PH has also accumulated debts amounting to almost RM100 billion as of this month, extending the national debt to RM810 billion.
“And they have only repaid RM32 billion.
“At the same time, not a single extra sen in national asset has been made.
“We are still waiting for MAS, BHP petroleum, MAHB, UEM Sunrise all to be sold off,” he added.
He ended his posting by saying that under the PH government, the economy was going downhill, along with the share market and ringgit value.
Earlier this week, Dr Mahathir said Khazanah would have to sell off some of its assets as it has strayed outside of its core businesses and invested in too many things.
“The original idea was that Khazanah Nasional should only buy shares which are not taken up… but now they have invested in many things.
“What is outside of their core business, they should dispose of (them),” Dr Mahathir said in an interview with BFM radio station.