KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional invested about RM80 million (US$19.7 million) in a failed lingerie business, local media reported on Wednesday (Aug 1).
This was revealed by the country's economic affairs minister Mohamed Azmin Ali during his ministerial reply on the motion of thanks of the royal address in Parliament, The Star Online reported.
Responding to a question by former prime minister Najib Razak on how Khazanah had deviated from its original objectives, Azmin said that the fund had invested in the business which eventually failed, according to the report.
"Khazanah had invested in the online business, involving bras and lingerie," the report quoted him as saying.
"The business eventually failed and the losses had to be written off."
The minister added that this sort of investment was an example of the direction taken by the fund that had strayed from its focus, the New Straits Times reported.
"In the government's opinion, Khazanah has to function as what was set and details can be given for us to review Khazanah's role," he said.
Such incidents resulted in the government having to put Khazanah back on track, he added.
The Prime Minister's Office on Monday announced that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had been appointed as chairman of the sovereign wealth fund's board.
Azmin, along with Mohd Hassan Marican, Sukhdave Singh and Goh Ching Yin, were appointed directors of Khazanah.
Last week, all nine Khazanah board members resigned in response to Mahathir's criticism of the management of government-linked companies.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Khazanah Nasional invested about RM80 million (US$19.8 billion) in a failed lingerie business. It has since been corrected. We apologise for the error.