Wednesday October 22 2008
EPF loan is abuse of power, says DAP
Its national publicity secretary Tony Pua was responding to the new Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement today that the RM5 billion injection into ValueCap will be in the form of a loan from EPF.
Pua said the minister has “no basis to direct the EPF to make particular investment decisions”. He added that such decisions should be left to the discretion of the investment panel whose key concern is to “maximise returns instead of investing for the purposes of supporting the stock market.”
“This RM5 billion off-budget measure raises several very worrying questions and concerns,” said Pua, who is also the MP for Petaling Jaya Utara.
He noted that it was especially worrying because Najib had confirmed that there would be no reduction in the 2009 Budget expenditure and that the money would come not from the government’s budget but from the EPF, which is funded by the country’s workforce.
“What measures have been put in place to ensure that the RM5 billion will be utilised in a fair and transparent manner and not be used instead to bail out Government-linked or crony companies whose stock prices have plummeted during the current financial crisis?” Pua questioned.
“How will supporting the prices of stocks listed on Bursa Malaysia actually change the fundamentals, including but not limited to the efficiency and productivity, of our economy and its companies?” he further charged.
He said that the government should leave stock prices to market forces and focus spending on areas that will generate “high economic multipliers”.