KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) - Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the country's sovereign wealth fund, should go back to one of its core purposes of helping the Bumiputeras, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said the fund was initially formed to buy shares allocated to the Bumiputeras, who would normally buy shares and sell them to others immediately.
"So to stop them from doing that, we created Khazanah. But now Khazanah seems to be taking up all shares on their own, whether it was meant for Bumiputeras or not.
"So, maybe they should go back to their original purpose," he told reporters today after the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting in Putrajaya which was telecast live.
Khazanah was incorporated on Sept 3, 1993 during the leadership of Dr Mahathir who was then the fourth Prime Minister and became its first Chairman.
Khazanah was established to manage commercial assets owned by the federal government as well as design strategic investments that would contribute to nation building.
"(But), it is quite obvious (now) they are doing all kinds of funny things, they are buying houses, they are taking over companies (which is not the original purpose Khazanah was established)," he said, when asked of his recent remark that the fund had diverted from its core purpose.
After serving as the country's fourth Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir stepped down in 2003.
In 2004, under a refreshed mandate, Khazanah undertook an expanded and more active investment approach which includes enhancing the performance of its existing core holdings while seeking opportunities in new economic sectors and geographies.