Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is still not satisfied with the explanation by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over the decision to sell Proton shares in MV Agusta Motors Spa of Italy.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, told the Dewan Rakyat Wednesday the decision to sell the stakes was made after thorough consideration based on findings of an indepth re-investment study by advisory consortiums such as Credit Suisse First Boston.
The study revealed Proton would be saddled with a whopping more than RM1 billion debt if the stakes were not sold, he said.
Several legal firms in Italy also found MV Agusta’s business model cannot be sustained in terms of finance and operations, said Najib in his written reply to a question from Wee Choo Keong (PKR-Wangsa Maju).
The former prime minister said he realised that, as a member of the government administration, the deputy prime minister was duty-bound to defend whatever action the government had taken.
“But to me there is no rational to sell the goods that we have bought for hundreds of millions (ringgit) for just one Euro.
“If anyone tells me, it’s a profit, I think he should examine his mental health,” he told reporters after delivering a public lecture at Universiti Teknologi Petronas.
When repeated that the justification for the share sale was to spare Proton from incurring over RM1 billion debt, Dr Mahathir said what was more important was that how the Proton management managed what they have acquired.
“If we don’t know how to manage, then we will suffer losses. Acquiring a company is simple but managing it is a different matter.
“If we want to avert losses, then we should not do business,” he added.
Dr. Mahathir not satisfied with Najib’s explanation of MV Augusta sale