Minister: Bumiputera-to-Bumiputera sales idea only for mandated Bumiputera agencies, won’t affect other races

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Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed speaks to the media at Parliament Building, September 27, 2021. — Bernama pic
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed speaks to the media at Parliament Building, September 27, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement earlier this week of a proposal for Bumiputera-held shares or Bumiputera companies to only be sold to Bumiputera companies or Bumiputera individuals only applies to selling activities by a limited number of Bumiputera mandated agencies, a minister clarified today.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed was clarifying the prime minister’s Monday speech during the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) on the proposed introduction of a Bumiputera equity safety net to ensure sustainable Bumiputera ownership of shares.

Mustapa noted that such an announcement had given rise to several varying interpretations, and had also led to the perception that the Bumiputera community would allegedly take the rights of other ethnic groups.

“I wish to explain further that this proposal to introduce this equity safety net framework only refers to the selling of shares and/or companies by Bumiputera mandated agencies only,” he said in a statement today.

These Bumiputera mandated agencies are either institutions representing Bumiputera interests or Bumiputera trust agencies.

The Bumiputera mandated agencies that would be related to the proposal are four agencies representing Bumiputera interests (Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and Koperasi Polis DiRaja Malaysia (KPDRM), and eight Bumiputera trust agencies (Perbadanan Kemajuan Ekonomi Negeri (PKEN), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (EKUINAS), Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB), Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNS), VentureTECH Sdn. Bhd, Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YaPEIM), and Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB), he said.

“This sale proposal does not involve shares and/or companies that will be sold by Bumiputera individuals, non-Bumiputera or foreign companies. Instead, this announcement only involves the selling of shares and/or Bumiputera companies by Bumiputera mandated agencies only,” he added.

He said that such sales would be offered to qualified Bumiputera consortiums, companies or individuals under the equity safety net framework.

In explaining this proposal, he said Bumiputera ownership of corporate equity based on market value was only 17.2 per cent in 2019, and that the prime minister’s announcement was made to ensure the existing shares ownership would remain under Bumiputera holdings and not erode.

“This proposal will not take the rights and interests of other races,” he said.

Apart from the proposed equity safety net framework, Mustapa said there are already several laws and regulatory rules on Bumiputera equity ownership that are in force and will continue to be in force.

He explained that the disposal of shares or private companies are subject to approval by the regulators of the relevant ministries and agencies.

He noted for example that procurement of property involving ownership of property involving Bumiputera interest or government agencies valued at RM20 million and above requires approval from the Prime Minister’s Department’s Economic Planning Unit, saying that this was to ensure that the existing Bumiputera interest in the companies would not erode.

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