SIL (son-in-law) says, on the sale of MV Agusta by Proton Holdings for one euro:
"Even KTM Bhd at one time was offered to prospective buyers at RM1. The same when DRB Hicom sold off Air Asia which making losses. So selling off companies at nominal market value is a normal thing." (the Star, 5 Aug "Khairy: Check your facts first").
It's this kind of arguments that scare me. SIL really should check his facts first.
Fact: The government has never sold any Malaysian company for 1 euro or 1 sing dollar because we've never sold out to foreign corporate interests, whether they are Italians or Singaporeans.
Fact: Dr M offered Tony Fernandes the loss-making DRB-Hicom airline in 2001 after studying what Tune Air Sdn Bhd had planned in terms of making Air Asia a raging success. The government under Dr M did not offer to sell the airline to Singapore for S$1 or to the Italians for 1 euro.
[If MV Agusta had been sold to Hong Leong for RM1, it would have been another story. And by God, Hong Leong was very keen!]
[If FAX loses money and Tony sells it to Temasik or Singapore Airlines for 1 Sing dollar tomorrow, will that be considered NORMAL to SIL and to the Abdullah Administration?).
Fact: KTM was offered for RM1 to locals, not foreigners. The government believed that the private sector could turn around the government's loss-making outfit. This was in 1989. There were no takers because too many strings were attached to the offer [unlike the sale of MV Agusta]. Three years later the Dr M administration corporatised the losing entity. KTM Bhd has never looked back since.
Fact: Both Air Asia and KTM Bhd have been successful, and they benefit us Malaysians, the economy, the nation. MV Agusta may turn around in 5 years and make profits while we'll still pay through our noses for the 1 euro fiasco and some Italians laugh all the way to the bank [unless there were Malaysians involved in the 1 euro transaction. Were there?].
By the way, I thought the PM said SIL is not his adviser. Is that still a Fact? If Khairy isn't the adviser, WHY WAS HE TRYING TO EXPLAIN SOMETHING THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD EXPLAIN?
I hope the PM is not going to use the same arguments when he appears on national television to explain the sale of MV Agusta for 1 euro this Monday. If he does, God help us.
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