In his long reply in Parliament last Wednesday on the government’s buy-back of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli's 29.09 per cent stake in MAS at RM8 a share when the market price was only RM3.68, the Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin said that “If the people and MPs are not happy with this purchase decision, the Government can sell the shares back to Naluri.”
No Minister should ever make any frivolous or theatrical statement in Parliament on serious issues of state if there is no intention to honour it, and in view of the statement by Daim and the widespread public opposition to the government’s bail-out of Tajudin Ramli in buying his MAS stake at the exorbitant price of RM8 per share, the Cabinet tomorrow should decide on the mechanism whereby the people could be given the opportunity to express their support or opposition to the government’s buyback of the MAS stake from Tajudin.
This mechanism can be by way of a national referendum or any other means of seeking majority public opinion on this issue.
The DAP’s position is that the government should sell back the 29.09 per cent stake in MAS to Tajudin Ramli at RM8 per share and get Tajudin to repay the government the RM1.792 billion for his MAS stake.
DAP agrees with the government bailing out MAS as it is a national carrier but we cannot agree with the bailing out of Tajudin.
The government’s payment of a premium of RM4.32 or 117 per cent over
the market price of MAS to Tajudin is unjustifiable for two reasons: