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Where’s Valuecap’s missing RM5 billion?

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Oct 2008: If Valuecap Sdn Bhd was launched in 2003 with RM10 billion in cash, why is the government now injecting another RM5 billion of taxpayers’ money to double its fund size?

DAP’s parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang posed this question today, and said the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee should investigate and hold Valuecap accountable.

He was criticising the government’s move to inject RM5 billion through a loan from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) into Valuecap, a government investment agency that buys undervalued stocks on Bursa Malaysia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister (I) Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the move on 20 Oct 2008, as part of measures to help the local economy face an imminent global financial crisis.

Lim referred to news reports on 17 Jan 2003 that Valuecap had started operations with RM10 billion in cash from its three shareholders — government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, PNB and EPF.

“It was announced by Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who was then the economic advisor to the prime minister, and now the second finance minister.

“He said Valuecap had RM10 billion available in actual cash, not shares, from its shareholders. Now we are told it is RM5 billion and they need another RM5 billion injection.

“Valuecap’s operations for the last four years have not been transparent,” Lim said at a press conference in Parliament today.

In an interview with Business Times on 17 Jan 2003, Nor Mohamed said: “The RM10 billion is already available [to us]. It’s in cash, and it came equally from each of the three shareholders”.

Lim said the government has not provided any assurance that the public’s contributions to the EPF would be guaranteed in the loan to Valuecap.

He added that it was “completely unacceptable” that the injection of funds was not under the purview of Budget 2009, as it involved taxpayers’ money. 

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