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Thursday, May 31, 2018

HOW THICK-SKINNED OF NAJIB: IMAGINE MR MO1 TELLS MAHATHIR NOT TO ‘PLUNDER’ FROM PETRONAS

THE Pakatan Harapan government’s move to let Petronas make up revenue shortfall from scrapping a broad-based consumption tax is unsustainable, former prime minister Najib Razak said today in another attack on the new government’s policies.
Najib, who has been posting frequently on his Facebook page in response to announcements made by Putrajaya, said the PH government was only looking at short-term gains.
“This approach is not sustainable and will sacrifice the future in exchange for short-term financing.
“Petronas’ profits also depend on global oil and gas prices that are beyond our control. Overdependence on high oil prices should be avoided,” he wrote today.
He also took a dig at Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, accusing him of using Petronas to fund bailouts in the past when he was the country’s fourth prime minister.
“I urge the new government to let Petronas pursue its vision instead of plundering its coffers or to use it for ‘bailouts’, as Tun Dr Mahathir did under his administration of 22 years,” Najib said.
Najib was responding to comments by Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming, who is special officer to the finance minister.

Ong yesterday said Putrajaya planned to boost revenue from higher corporate taxes, including from the national oil company, given higher global oil prices this year at US$70 (RM278) per barrel  rather than the US$52 per barrel initially projected for 2018.
Ong had told business radio station BFM that Putrajaya could collect between RM8 billion to RM9 billion more in special dividends from Petronas.
Najib said Malaysia had to be wary of relying on high oil prices that are unpredictable, as experienced in the global price drop by 80% in 2014 and 2015.
In his post, he attached a screenshot of Petronas’ interim financial report for the first quarter of 2018.
Najib said Petronas’ reserves had increased to RM164.7 billion as at end March 2018, compared with RM128.2 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.
He said the national oil company’s reserves were higher now compared with 2008 when he took over as finance minister, and that during his time, he had always made sure Petronas never had to pay additional dividends to the government.
He said he wanted to ensure that it had sufficient cash balance for its development as a world-class petroleum company.
The government is expected to see a shortfall of RM21 billion annually from zero-rating the goods and services tax, which begins tomorrow.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/

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