Monday, February 17

Samurai bond: No strings attached, says Dr Mahathir


Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Japanese government is not putting any condition in its offer to guarantee the issuance of RM7.4 billion Samurai bond to Malaysia.

“No, there are no strings attached,” he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the World Chinese Economic Forum at Seri Kembangan near here yesterday.

Dr Mahathir was asked whether there was any condition set by the Japanese government — for example, in exchange for Japanese companies to get involved in mega infrastructure projects in Malaysia — when making the offer.

He pointed out that the Yen-denominated loan would be used to repay the country’s existing loans or to be spent for development projects.

The Samurai Bond has a tenure of 10 years and is expected to be issued before March next year via Japan Bank of International Cooperation at an indicative coupon of 0.65 per cent.

Dr Mahathir said the government would also seek advice and learn from Japan-based railway company, JR Kyushu Railway Company, to improve Malaysia’s railway system.

In his recently concluded working visit to Japan, Dr Mahathir said the Malaysian government’s efforts to get JR Kyushu’s cooperation to conduct a study on national railway system are to ensure that the services would fully benefit the country and the people, as currently, only 30 per cent are being utilised.

The prime minister also reiterated that the government would continue to negotiate the suspended East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project with China. — Bernama