EPF, Boeing deals nothing new, says Rahman Dahlan
BN strategic communications director says EPF's move towards overseas investments and Malaysia Airline's plan to buy the Boeing planes have been common knowledge for a long time now.
PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Ministerâs Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan today defended the deals highlighted during Najib Razakâs visit to the White House, saying none of them are new developments.
This was after the prime minister said in a meeting with US President Donald Trump that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners, with another 25 737s slated for purchase in the near future.
Najib said the deal would be worth more than US$10 billion within five years.
At the same meeting, he also said the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) wanted to spend US$3 billion to US$4 billion on US infrastructure development.
His remarks were panned by opposition leaders, with DAPâs Teresa Kok asking if the purchases were in exchange for greater investments from the US, and PPBMâs Dr Rais Hussin questioning how Malaysiaâs economy could strengthen that of the US when it is 62.65 times smaller.
However, Rahman who is also Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, said Pakatan Harapan leaders should refrain from commenting on international diplomacy âas they do not seem to understand its intricacies and sensitivitiesâ.
In a statement today, he said the EPF had for the past few years been issuing statements showing that it had embarked on diversification in overseas investments.
He said EPFâs total assets invested as of the first quarter of 2017 had reached RM747 billion, while the total value of all the companies listed on Bursa Mal aysia stood at RM1.7 trillion.
âDue to the enormous size of EPFâs funds now, diversification overseas is a necessity and no longer just an option.
âAccordingly, in July last year, the EPF removed the 30% cap on foreign investment for their Members Investment Scheme and allowed their members to invest in funds that fully invested overseas.â
Rahman said the results showed that overseas investments accounted for 29% of EPFâs total investment assets and contributed 37% to the total investment income in the first quarter of the year.
âIn fact, in the past two yearsâ dividend announcements, the EPF specifically stated that good returns from their overseas investments had allowed EPF to deliver good dividends despite a slower domestic market.
âHence, it is shocking that our local opposition politicians are seemingly unaware of these developments,â he said.
Likewise, he said Malaysia Airlinesâ purchase of the Boein g planes was nothing new.
âIn July 2016, it was already widely reported that MAS had signed a deal to purchase up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX jets, with orders for 25, and rights to purchase 25 more in a deal valued at US$5.5 billion at list prices.
âSimilarly, in August 2017, the media also reported that due to the success of MASâ restructuring and its current growth, it was already deep in negotiations to purchase 30 more new Boeing 786 or Airbus jets to allow MAS to continue growing its routes and business.
âMASâ purchases of new planes is not news at all. However, it seems to have caught opposition politicians by surprise. Instead of praising the success of MASâ restructuring, these politicians are questioning MASâ motives as if the long-planned and widely-reported purchase of new planes had been a sudden decision,â he said.
Adding that Najib had a âsterling recordâ in international diplomacy, Rahman said the prime minister had the countr yâs best interests in mind and knew what he was doing.
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Source: Google News