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According to a report by Bernama, Khazanah Nasional has stated that it has no plans to sell PLUS Malaysia to any party. The company’s managing director, Datuk Shahril Riza Ridzuan, said all takeover offers for Malaysia’s largest highway operator from local and foreign entities have been rejected.
“There are many offers from different parties but our reply to all of them is very simple – we are not interested in selling,” he said during an interview that aired on TV3 on October 5. He added that companies that have submitted their bids – namely RRJ Capital and Maju Holdings – were offering to buy PLUS at a much lower price than its real value.
“If you want to buy [an asset] from the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) or Khazanah, you should offer a fair market price,” Shahril Riza said. He also touched upon the proposals from interested parties, where the difference between the price paid and real value would be used as toll discounts for the people. “If you want to give discounts, it should be from your profits, not from us,” he remarked.
Currently, ownership of the toll concessionaire is shared between UEM Group – a subsidiary of Khazanah – and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The former holds a 51% share in PLUS, with the remaining 49% owned by EPF.
Shahril Riza also noted that Khazanah is the investment arm of the government, and it must ensure that strategic assets such as PLUS are not sold to parties that are solely focused on profits without any thought for the people. “If PLUS is making profits, it goes back to the government through Khazanah, or to the Malaysians via EPF. So if you allow private parties to take over PLUS, and those parties make a lot of profit, people are not going to be happy,” he said.