“The listing of Petronas will not be good for the government because we need Petronas to support the government.
“But we can look at selling shares in the subsidiaries, including Petronas Carigali and others,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said that the request for 20 per cent oil royalty by Sabah and Sarawak, which was in Pakatan Harapan’s general election manifesto, could be fulfilled.
“Well, many things that were promised in the manifesto which was due to a lack of knowledge of the actual problem.
“Now that we are in the government, we are discovering that if we give 20 per cent to the two states then Petronas will no longer be the international oil company it has become.
“We have to appeal to the Sabah and Sarawak state governments that this is not workable.
“They are also very concerned. They do not want to kill Petronas but at the same time they want more money, so we’re trying to work out how we can give them more money without undermining Petronas’ own strength.
When asked if the two states could instead be given shares in Petronas, Dr Mahathir said this could be considered.
To another question, Dr Mahathir said he would also welcome any proposals for more of the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) collection to be managed by external managers.
“We have a lot of savings, including with EPF, PNB and Tabung Haji.
“We do not want to go abroad too much but, on the other hand, there is not much room in Malaysia itself to invest this huge sum of money that we have.
“So, we need to be advised and I would welcome any proposal to help manage our funds,” he said.
When asked to give some hints on what may be in Budget 2020, Dr Mahathir it would be one focussed on shared prosperity.
“We need to reduce the disparity between town and country, between states because some states are very rich and some are poor, between the different races and between the rich and poor.
“All these things need to be corrected. Not actually being equal of course but the disparities must be reduced and this must be reflected in the next budget.
“That means, of course, that we will give less to the more prosperous and more to the less prosperous,” he said.
– Malay mail