BN govt would never sell strategic assets, says Najib

Najib pointed out that Azmin did not mention the value of the 84 assets when he made the remark.

NATIONAL strategic assets would never be sold if Barisan Nasional were still the government, says Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“If Barisan were still in power, I can guarantee that we will not opt to sell strategic assets such as Andaz Hotel in Singapore,

IHH Bhd, and various other shares and strategic blocks, ” said the former prime minister.

Najib, who is Pekan MP, was responding to Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who told the Dewan Rakyat that a total of 84 assets owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd were disposed of when he was the board chairman between 2009 and 2018.

Najib pointed out that Azmin did not mention the value of the 84 assets when he made the remark.

He said Khazanah’s value had increased under the Barisan government, adding that non-strategic assets were sold, while strategic assets were acquired.

“In addition, Khazanah lost RM6.3bil and its assets fell to RM25bil.

“I want to point out that if we sell assets that give a return of 15% just to pay a debt interest of 4%, is this logical?

“We consider this step to be detrimental to the country and it will have a huge impact on the country’s economy, ” he said when met in the lobby.

Najib also said the drop in national revenue was due to the Pakatan Harapan government’s estimate of the 2019 budget allocation based on the average crude oil price of US$70 (RM294) per barrel.

“We have said before, do not use US$70 per barrel as the figure.

“It is unrealistic. The global crude oil price is now US$55 (RM231) per barrel. This is a big difference that had an impact on national revenue, ” he said.

Najib also said that the government’s mistake in replacing the GST with the SST caused a shortfall of RM20bil to RM24bil in revenue per year.

“And this does not include refunds, ” he added.