Loke refutes Wan Fayhsal's claim of consortium acquiring stake in MAHB

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Anthony Loke has dismissed an allegation by an opposition member of parliament regarding the formation of a consortium between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to acquire a stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

Loke said the claim made by Machang member of parliament Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal was merely an assumption.

"There has been no official announcement indicating our intention to sell to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

"It was purportedly decided back in 2019, during the Pakatan Harapan government's tenure, and it was never discussed in the cabinet. You can ask the party president. It was never discussed, " he said in his winding-up speech at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal's (PN-Machang) question regarding the ministry's awareness of the suggestion, citing that there were many better airport operators, such as Incheon in South Korea and Doha in Qatar, besides GIP.

Loke said the Transport Ministry was not involved in the intricacies of equity ownership.

"MAHB operates as the airport operator, while the Transport Ministry serves as the regulator.

"We cannot intervene in matters concerning MAHB's equity, its organisational structure, or any related aspects.

"These decisions fall within the purview of Khazanah. Khazanah will take the necessary actions and announce any restructuring of their equity holdings," Loke said.

Expressing confidence in Khazanah's professionalism, Loke said it was their autonomy in assessing potential strategic partnerships.

"It is Khazanah's prerogative to decide with whom they wish to form strategic collaborations.

"Thus far, there has been no official confirmation of Khazanah entering into any agreements with any party. Should such agreements materialise, they will be promptly announced," he said.

Loke also said: "There is no need to spin this issue any further," which garnered applause from the members of the House.

Last week, Wan Fayhsal had urged the Foreign Ministry to oppose the formation of a consortium between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund that would see it own a stake in Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

In making this call, he claimed the consortium, GIP, was fully owned by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, Lockheed Martin, and all arms suppliers involved in the Palestinian crisis.

However, the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) said it had yet to receive any information on the matter.

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