PETALING JAYA: There is nothing dubious regarding the two gas pipeline projects totalling RM9.4bil raised by Lim Guan Eng, as all relevant procedures were complied with during negotiations and executions, said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic).
Najib was responding to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who revealed that the RM9.4bil project was “kept hidden” under the red files from most officials in the Treasury.
Najib said that he and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the mega project during his visit to Beijing on May 14 last year.
In a Facebook posting yesterday, Najib said during the signing of the MOU, China also committed to importing goods worth US$2 trillion over the next five years from Malaysia, and investing up to US$150bil in Malaysia.
There is also the offer of 10,000 places for training and studies in various institutes in China, as well as China’s commitment to buy more palm oil from Malaysia.
Najib cautioned Lim from making politically motivated allegations, as it may adversely impact foreign relations and trade involving Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, the Finance Ministry’s former director of communications, said that Lim’s statement made the very specific allegation that payments were made ahead of construction milestone to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) - not to any other companies.
“There were no allegations that such payments had been diverted or wrongly paid to other companies,” said Lokman.
“It is not unusual for turn-key construction projects to have payment schedules different from construction milestones.
“This could be due to the government to government negotiations related to the soft loan given by the China government. Perhaps the MoF can disclose the entire agreement for the public to examine why the payment milestones were structured this way?”
Lokman also touched on Lim’s second reason that SSER’s CEO is Datuk Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin, who had previously been a independent non-executive director at Putrajaya Perdana Berhad.
“While it is true that Jho Low had reportedly bought the then listed Putrajaya Perdana Berhad and another listed company Loh and Loh Berhad in 2007 with Middle-East backing before 1MDB existed, Datuk Azhar is a senior Petronas veteran and has served in various capacities since 1979 including as a director in Petronas Gas and Petronas Bhd.
“Therefore, he would have the necessary experience and expertise to undertake the job at SSER,” said Lokman.
Lokman stressed that if there was any wrongdoing, the relevant authorities must investigate first and that “the Pakatan Harapan government should stop making political allegations to continue bad-mouthing the previous Barisan Nasional government”.
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