Najib defends RM9.4b pipeline projects

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak leaves after giving a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. — Reuters pic
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak leaves after giving a statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has defended his RM9.4 billion Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects, despite only 13 per cent of work completed for both projects.

In a press statement, the Pekan MP said he was “confident” that all necessary process procedures and laws have been complied with in the negotiation and execution of the projects.

Najib added that the two pipeline projects will bring much economic benefits and energy security for Malaysia.

“While I welcome open and transparent investigations into these two projects, I believe that great care much be taken when making such serious politically-motivated public allegations involving foreign state-owned companies as it may have a negative effect on foreign relations and international trade,” said Najib.

Furthermore, he stated that China had committed to importing goods worth US$2 trillion over the next five years and had also rescued Malaysia’s oil palm smallholders.

Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER) was paid RM8.3 billion from the two projects worth RM9.4 billion despite only completing 13 per cent of the work, the Finance Ministry said earlier today.

The irregularity was discovered among the ministry’s so-called “red files” that were previously restricted to a select few officials and within which was buried the full extent of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

According to Lim, SSER was incorporated as a wholly-owned unit of the Finance Ministry in 2016 to undertake two projects: The MPP and TSGP.

The MPP is a RM5.35 billion project to build a 600km oil pipeline from Jitra to Port Dickson while the TSGP is a 662km gas line connecting the Kimanis Gas Terminal to Sandakan and Tawau at a cost of RM4.06 billion.

Both contracts were awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB) in November 2016 in contracts signed by former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar, who is also SSER chairman.