PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has slammed Pakatan Harapan for blaming the Barisan Nasional administration for issues related to the third national car project.
This follows after a Pakatan minister’s statement that it was the previous government which gave the approval for a government-linked company to buy shares in DreamEDGE, the anchor company of the third national car project.
“The fact of the matter is this; previously it was announced that the project will not be financed by public funds. But the company which was awarded the project clearly has links to the government.
“Perhaps because (the minister) has a headache or is embarrassed, he now wants to blame Barisan" Dr Wee said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Aug 15).
International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking had allegedly said that a “certain prime minister who was also the finance minister” was the one who gave the green light for the government to own a stake in DreamEDGE.
Dr Wee again raised questions about Pakatan's pledge that the project will not use funds from the government’s coffers or the rakyat’s money.
“If you had known that the company is linked to the government, why award the project (to the company)? The real question, however, is why Pakatan wants so much to launch the third national car project?
“What is Pakatan’s pledge in terms of maintaining the quantum of car import duties, which will ultimately be a burden to the rakyat?” he questioned.
Dr Wee had said last Friday (Aug 9) that 53% of DreamEDGE’s shares are owned by VentureTech Sdn Bhd, which is in turn owned by a government company.
DreamEDGE CEO Khairil Adri Adnan later rebutted Dr Wee’s statement, saying that VentureTech only owns 10% of the company’s ordinary shares, with the rest of the stake being Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS).
RCPS are a type of securities that investors can choose to convert into ordinary shares after a predetermined time span or on a specific date.
Dr Wee then challenged the government to disclose the total percentage of its ownership of the company if the RCPS are converted.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad then said there was a possibility that the new national car will use government funds as some agencies may want “to have a piece of the cake”.
He however clarified that it was not him who approved for a government-linked company to buy shares in DreamEDGE.