Gerakan Youth: Kedah Govt cannot be let off the hook for PNG project

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012

PUTRAJAYA: The Kedah Government cannot be let off the hook over an allegedly dubious multi-million ringgit investment in Papua New Guinea (PNG), said Kedah Gerakan Youth.

Its chief Tan Keng Liang said the state could not shift the blame to others since it involved a state government-linked company.

“We are disappointed with the state government's action in putting the blame on other parties. The Mentri Besar cannot say he doesn't know.

“Pakatan Rakyat should be responsible for their own government. You cannot have power without responsibility and accountability,” he said before lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday.

The 2011 Auditor-General's report highlighted a move by Kedah Corporation Berhad (KCB) to buy a 70% stake in MAS Incorporated Limited to develop nearly 94,000ha of land in PNG in October 2008.

KCB, however, did not earn any revenue from the investment despite making a RM1.21mil “good-will” payout to a former owner of MAS who acted as a vendor for KCB and spending RM3mil on mobilisation expenses.

Tan said the issue did not end with the questionable payouts, quoting the Auditor-General's report which found that KCB had gone to the extent of taking on a US$44mil (RM134mil) offshore loan to fund the PNG project.

The loan, which was obtained without the knowledge of KCB's directors, was later cancelled after it was found that it did not favour KCB and KCB could not repay the loan.

However, some RM1.6mil had already been paid out to a consultancy firm hired to secure the loan.

“This issue has caused a lot of loss for the people of Kedah and we want MACC to investigate it,” Tan said, adding that they had already lodged a police report on the issue last Tuesday.

Earlier last week, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak claimed that a senior officer with KCB, who obtained the loan, had since gone missing.

Azizan denied that his administration was involved in any irregularities in the PNG project, which was terminated after a state committee set up to investigate KCB's operations discovered that it was unprofitable.

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