Why consult Hamas on business and investments?

How long do Malaysians have to continue to be told tall tales and fibs by our politicians? How do we make them understand that we can no longer be fooled with words, which often borders on absurdity?

Despite being reminded, why do they continue to treat citizens as fools and idiots and believe that whatever they say will be swallowed hook, line, and sinker?

Every time a politician says something that should not have been said and puts his foot in the mouth it has always been the same phrase - misquoted, taken out of context or misunderstood.

Has the time come for citizens to dispense with politeness and tell them, government leaders included, that what comes out of their mouths sometimes is unacceptable and disgusting?

Last week, Umno deputy president and Foreign Minister Mohamad Hasan said Umno ministers had voiced their objections to the planned sale of Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad’s (MAHB) shares.

Foreign Minister Mohamad Hasan

The issue has become a hot potato for the government with certain quarters demanding the sale be aborted because the intended purchaser - Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) - is set to be acquired by Blackrock, a company which has been reported to be involved in activities detrimental to the people of Palestine.

The next day, party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party is on the same page as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on the sale of MAHB shares and declared: “The opinion voiced out by Tok Mat (Mohamad) is his personal opinion, and I met with him last night.

“He said the statement was his own take on the matter and does not represent Umno’s official stance,” said Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister.

Zahid added that the issue had been brought to the cabinet several times but was not thoroughly discussed.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

But then, was there no opposition from Umno ministers? Mohamad did not express any views but stated a fact that Zahid has not disputed.

Why then was Zahid so uppity about something that had happened at the cabinet meeting?

It can be understandable if no such objections were made but this was never disputed.

Malaysians are rightly being informed of what transpired at the meeting, something that the Madani government has been promoting – transparency.

So, how does “personal view” come into the picture when there was none in the first place?

Anwar’s bizarre statement

In Parliament on Tuesday, Anwar addressed the issue but the tone and manner got more than a few tongues wagging.

He said the government had decided to impose sanctions on trade with Israeli companies but cannot do the same with those with links to Israel.

Firms like Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia, he said, all have some Israeli interests.

“Should we cancel all trade with them?”, he asked.

“Although that may sound good to some people, it is not realistic. I have discussed the matter with Hamas leaders and they have no issues with (Malaysia working with these companies),” he was quoted as saying.

Since when has Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation in many countries, been appointed as an investment consultant for Malaysia?

Surely, Hamas cannot be telling us how to handle our foreign and economic affairs.

Will the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) and Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry be running to Doha, Qatar to meet exiled Hamas operatives to get their nod in the future for all foreign investments?

Malaysia’s unwavering support for the Palestinians and their sufferings is known globally. By all means, despise, loathe and pour scorn on Israel for its actions against innocent people but why put Hamas on such a high pedestal?

Blackrock’s presence in M’sia

Yesterday, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz Blackrock told Parliament that Blackrock has been investing in Malaysia since the 1990s. It currently owns assets worth RM27.5 billion locally.

He mentioned that the government has no direct dealings with the company, nor does Blackrock have any influence over national policy.

Quoting open data, he said that as of May 2024, Blackrock a global investment firm owns equity investments in 100 listed companies in Malaysia in industrial sectors, along with the three largest entities banking institutions.

“Overall, it owns assets worth RM27.5 billion in Malaysia — RM20.5 billion in Bursa Malaysia and RM7 billion in Malaysian government and corporate bonds,” he said.

So, will Malaysian leaders be running to Hamas to ask if Blackrock can maintain its investments or at worse, order the company to divest its interests? - Mkini

R NADESWARAN is a veteran journalist who writes on bread-and-butter issues. Comments: citizen.nades22@gmail.com.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

Why consult Hamas on business and investments?