Ask those responsible before believing claims of financial crisis, says Khaled on LTAT

KUALA LUMPUR: People must carry out due diligence before jumping to conclusions on any issue, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin.

He was commenting on criticisms aimed at the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) for recording negative balances in its reserves since 2020 as stated in the Auditor General's Report 2022

He said the negative reviews were due to a lack of crucial information.

"Claims of a financial crisis (in LTAT) happened because people didn't properly check with us. People believe in sensational news.

"We wouldn't make an announcement (on dividends) like this if LTAT did not have a strong financial position.

"In any case, ask those responsible (for the claims). Don't listen to one side and wait a long time before asking us," he said after announcing LTAT's five per cent dividend for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2023.

Khaled said this marked the second consecutive year a five per cent dividend was announced, which was a significant recovery from the lowest dividend recorded in 2018 at 2 per cent.

In March, the Auditor General flagged LTAT for diminishing investment returns in two subsidiaries.

In a statement on the report, Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi also flagged LTAT's decision to pay dividends derived from non-cash profits to contributors.

Khaled later clarified that the reserve for 2022 was in fact positive as the AG's Report only highlighted one of its three reserve funds.

Today, he reminded everyone to remain vigilant with regard to news that could contain ill-intentioned criticisms towards any party.

"In this era, news is easily accessible. Some are true, some are sentiment-driven and some are interpreted differently.

"For that reason, one must be cautious with everything (published).

"As I stated before, I believe and am confident in the new (LTAT) leadership," he said.

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