MAHATHIR, MAHATHIR – WHICH CRONY IS THE FAIREST OF ALL? ALL EYES ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF PLUS’ NEW OWNER THIS WEDNESDAY

THE cabinet will announce PLUS Malaysia Berhad’s new owner after a discussion on the many takeover bids for the country’s largest highway concessionaire during its meeting this Wednesday, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“We will discuss the company that is successful this Wednesday. Wait for the announcement.

“I can’t announce it like this because it is an important matter. The announcement is best made in writing,” he told reporters in George Town, Penang today.

Lim was asked if the government had made a decision following his earlier statements that the matter would be dealt with in the new year.

There are four proposals to take over the concessionaire that is 51% owned by Khazanah Nasional Berhad and 49% controlled by the Employees Provident Fund.

Bids have been made by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, Widad Group Berhad, Hong Kong-based private equity firm RRJ Capital, and businessmen Halim Saad and Wong Gian Fui via Karongsa Private Capital Sdn Bhd.

Lim said the government will not increase toll rates this year to help people cope with living costs, an exercise that will cost Putrajaya some RM1 billion in compensation to highway operators.

As such, the cabinet wants to reach a decision as soon as possible on toll highway acquisitions to avoid having to pay even more in compensation, he added.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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