Anwar wants debate on sale of Petronas stake in Azerbaijan for over RM9b

KUALA LUMPUR: An emergency motion to debate the recent sale of Petronas' Azerbaijan business interests amounting to more than RM9bil was tabled by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 27).

The matter was raised by Anwar by way of an emergency motion under Standing Orders 18 (1) and 18 (2) that deals with matters of public interest.

"This is important because it involves over RM9bil being sold. It is dangerous and could affect the future of Petronas and the Malaysian economy," he said in Parliament on Wednesday.

Anwar was speaking after the end of Ministers' Question Time in Parliament and Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun was chairing the session during then.

Azhar agreed with Anwar that the matter is of public interest and the motion will be heard at the Special Chambers in Parliament at 2.30pm Wednesday.

"I have scrutinised the matter and found that it is of public interest.

"It needs to be expedited and therefore, I allow this motion to be heard at the Special Chambers at 2.30pm."

Anwar then argued that it should be debated in the Dewan Rakyat as the matter involves the national economy.

"We should debate this in the Dewan Rakyat, even for a brief moment," he added,

However, Azhar stood his ground and said the matter has to be heard at the Special Chambers, as the Dewan Rakyat was set to pass two crucial bills on Wednesday.

"Proceedings at the Special Chambers can be watched by the public and it is recorded. So there isn't a difference," the Dewan Rakyat Speaker said.

On Oct 9, Petronas sold its 15.5% stake in the Shah Deniz natural gas project in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Russian multinational energy corporation PJSC Lukoil Oil for RM9.41bil (US$2.25bil).

A statement by PJSC Lukoil Oil on Oct 8 said the completion of the sale is subject to fulfilment of conditions precedent, including approval by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (Amendment) Bill 2020 would be passed in Parliament for second reading and the Factories and Machinery (Repeal) Bill 2020 for first reading in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 27).

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