KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak says he will only comment on the sale of the Malaysian consulate building in Hong Kong, if Lim Guan Eng clarifies the graft allegations made against the Finance Minister over the Penang undersea tunnel project.
“I can only comment when Lim replies to whether blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin's allegations are true or not,” the former premier said to reporters in Parliament on Thursday (March 28), after he was asked to comment on Lim’s remarks.
Najib was referring to a series of articles by Raja Petra, which detailed graft allegations in the controversial Penang undersea tunnel project.
Raja Petra claimed that a few Penang state exco members were allegedly implicated in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigations into the tunnel and three paired roads projects.
“He (Lim) has to comment first. I know what we did and I can comment. But he has to comment first,” Najib said briefly before leaving Parliament.
On Tuesday (March 26), Lim demanded Najib clarify his allegation that the Pakatan Harapan government had sold the Malaysian consulate building in Hong Kong.
"After checking , it was found that the decision to sell the consulate was made under your (Najib's) administration before May 9, and it was done through direct negotiations for RM1.1bil," said Lim.
He added that the new government reviewed the deal in the best interest of the nation and put the building up for sale through open tender bidding.
"We manage to get an offer for RM1.6bil.
"This is the difference between us. We manage to get extra RM500mil for the people and the nation through an open tender, unlike Barisan that wanted to sell it through direct negotiations," he said.
In response, Najib said “Please answer the tunnel issue first”, which caused several Opposition lawmakers shouting “tunnel” in Parliament.
Graft allegations concerning the Penang undersea tunnel project had been refuted by its project contractor, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.
It said that such claims were made to deceive the public, and defame the state government.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in response to the graft allegations, had also labelled Raja Petra a liar.