Dec 082009


The recent sale of 90 million Plus Expressway shares by Malaysia’s state pension fund Khazanah Nasional could signal moves by the government to accelerate the reduction of its big holdings in government linked companies (GLCs), analysts say.

Coincidental or not, Khazanah’s sale of about 90 million Plus shares in the last week of November — around the time Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited New York to pitch Malaysia to investment funds — has raised expectations the government is finally committed to paring its stakes to inject more liquidity into the stock market and to give the private sector more room to manoeuvre.

Hmm. Now, I’m no economic expert, but I suspect there’s more than one angle to this.

Perhaps this will indeed boost the stock market, increase things with fancy names like ‘trading velocity’ and so on, but: we are talking about public goods here.

Highway concessions in Malaysia are notorious for being overpriced, crony laden institutions that make fat profits off the rakyat.

If I’m not mistaken, the DAP recently did a costing that suggested the government can buy over PLUS, and then after less than 10 years, abolish tolls completely along the PLUS highways. (Maintenance? Road tax)

Now that’s what I call rakyat-centric. Why should we be paying forever for something that has been paid for in full?

This brings to mind the water issue and other privatisations. I am sympathetic to minimal government intervention on some big theory level, but in the Malaysian context, I think way too much money goes to crony capitalists at the expense of the man in the street.

It just seems wrong to let rich people profiteer in a way that burdens the rest of Malaysia considerably (man, the amount of toll I’ve paid in my lifetime…).

Again though, I’m not Mr. Economy. What do you think about all this? Experts?

  7 Responses to “Gov't sells PLUS shares – will we pay toll forever?”

  1. My gut feelings point to general lack of funds which required the sale. Then, there is the proposal from a company to take over all the tolled roads which I wonder if the shares went in that direction as a first step.

    I have just read Mathias Chang’s article on the huge Rm8.4billion NPL in CIMB which is being transferred to another special company within the group.

    Way back when CIMB tried to gain control of Southern Bank, again my gut feelings then was that it required a solid bank to help improve their NPL position. But the reports since seemed to point to ever improving financial situation. I believe accounts can be creative to show what is necessary to feel good until it becomes untenable, which I believe is now, when the NPLs become too huge to hide.

  2. New Year bonus mah…why do you think these UMNO dickheads are doing so much of li#cking…Nagis’s balls are cheap!!!!

  3. The way I see it, perhaps they are just going all out to fill themself up before GE13 when their time is up.

  4. While you W. Msians argue over who should manage the highways, spare a thought about us, E.Msian as tax payers contributing to these highways, of which probably 90% of the populace never set foot on, let alone drive on them. What suckers we are no matter whether we vote for pr or bn.

  5. bet you he is having miserable time himself and his family that for sure,it will last generations ….

  6. ” It just seems wrong to let rich people profiteer in a way that burdens the rest of Malaysia considerably ”

    just seems? lol =P

  7. Ah, as usual, privatise the profits and socialise the loses!!!

    Yes, those clowns and goons we have as Ministers are all out to line their pockets before next GE as there are signs they may still lose..

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