The PM finally admits it...
SINGAPORE owns Pantai Holdings and that, he says, has become a PROBLEM!
Bernama filed the story at 7.03pm. Read it and then, bear with me, I'll tell you why I smell a RAT..
KEPALA BATAS, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government was studying the necessary action to be taken pertaining to the disposal of a 31 per cent stake in Pantai Holdings Bhd to Singapore-based Parkway Holdings Ltd.
He said the matter was being looked into by the Treasury after realising that it had become a problem as it was related to the concession for the supply of hospital requirements.
"The share sale has become a problem, as it involves several matters related to the concession given to Pantai Holdings, that is a contract to supply hospital requirements," he told reporters ... here Sunday.
He said the government had always hoped that the equity would remain with Malaysians but unfortunately it had gone into the hands of foreigners.
"The concession has changed hands, and it has gone to other people and (we) hope it would remain with the Malaysian side, and held by Malaysian citizens," he said.
Asked the type of action which may be considered by the government, Abdullah who is also Finance Minister declined to elaborate.
and the smelly RAT?
The Finance Minister or the Finance Minister II, I believe, has known of the problem for quite sometime, way before the PM decared on tv last Monday that "there is no Malaysian company that is controlled by foreign companies".
Read yesterday's StarBiz cover story again: it said the Government had been approached by at least TWO local consortiums proposing to recover the concessions from the Singaporeans. These consortiums could not have been proposing to the newspaper, surely to the Government, and surely way before last Monday's tv interview.
Many weeks ago The Scribe blogged about a Khazanah bailout at Pantai, that it was going to pay a lot more for the shares that Parkway bought from Pantai (which was RM2.10 per share or thereabout). The StarBiz story was also peppered with hints made by the Singaporean owner of Pantai about "the right price".
If Khazanah comes into the picture, that means taxpayers will be asked again to pay for the government's blunders that led to Medivest and Fomema falling into foreign hands. The Finance Ministry, the Bursa and the Securities Commission will have questions to answer.
One BIG question is: Who will Khazanah sell Fomema and Medivest to?
The people will be watching, PM, and they'll be watching closely. Don't let the boys screw this one up, too.