Govt cannot U-turn on MAHB privatisation plan, says official

Govt cannot U-turn on MAHB privatisation plan, says official

PETALING JAYA: The government can no longer renege on its decision to privatise Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), a move which was previously criticised because of the involvement of a firm with alleged links to Israel.

A finance ministry official who is involved with the proposed transaction said the “train has left the station”, Channel NewsAsia reported.

“The time to back out is no longer an option because a formal offer has been made (on the proposed privatisation),” the unnamed source was quoted as saying.

According to the source, the reputations of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and EPF were “at stake”.

Earlier this month, investment, trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz defended the government’s decision to allow Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) to own shares in MAHB.

New York City-based investment firm BlackRock is in the process of acquiring GIP in a multi-billion dollar deal struck early this year.

Critics of the MAHB privatisation plan, who were against GIP’s participation, accused BlackRock of “profiteering from genocide” through its stakes in US defence companies that allegedly manufacture weapons used by Israel.

Tengku Zafrul has since said BlackRock is a listed company that is not owned by Israelis, while Khazanah previously gave an assurance that GIP, as its consortium partner, will not have a hand in the management of MAHB when the deal is finalised.

Separately, Khazanah told CNA in defending the proposed privatisation that GIP was selected after a “robust review of potential technical partners, including global airport operators”.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/govt-cannot-u-turn-on-mahb-privatisation-plan-says-official/ar-BB1onfpe?ocid=00000000

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