Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Salleh Said: Borrowing money part and parcel of doing business

Borrowing money is a part and parcel of doing business, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

"If a multi-billion business can be done without the need to borrow money, then we would not need banks. All the banks can be closed down," he said in a blog post on Tuesday.

"Even the PLUS North-South Highway not only needed to borrow money, it also needed a Government grant," he said, adding that it charged highway users toll so it could pay back what it had borrowed.

He also named Perwaja, a company that failed and pointed how it had also needed to borrow large sums of money.

Dr Salleh was responding to a blog post by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who claimed there would not have been a need to borrow RM42bil if 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was not created in the first place.

"Dr Mahathir alleges that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should be charged for sabotaging Malaysia's banking and financial system.

"In what way did he sabotage? Can Dr Mahathir explain? Unfortunately, Dr Mahathir's allegation does not state these details," he said.

He added that it should remembered that 1MDB tabled a full report during a Cabinet meeting in June this year.

"After explaining its rationalisation and debt reduction plan, which included the proposed Initial Public Offering to bring in cash, the plan was approved.

"In the following month, the Special Task Force confiscated 1MDB's accounts and documents, which delayed the exercise that would have turned 1MDB around," he said.

Dr Salleh also stressed that any undeveloped land would be cheaper than land that has already obtained planning approval or had a complete infrastructure.

"For example, even Petronas got land cheap in Paka, Terengganu. But after development, that land it is now worth thousands of times more what it originally cost," he said.

On Monday, Dr Mahathir said everyone involved in the initial set up of 1MDB should be charged with sabotage of Malaysia's financial and banking systems.

He alleged that if 1MDB had not been created, the large debt would not have been incurred.

"For this, 1MDB and those responsible must still be charged for abuses of the banking and financial system, repayment of the loans notwithstanding," said Dr Mahathir.

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