KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today denied the reports published by US-based newspaper the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) regarding the deal between his administration and China to rescue 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
WSJ had earlier reported that China had offered the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government under Najib a deal to bail out 1MDB in return for contracts here that would further its ambitious “One Belt, One Road” agenda.
In a Facebook posting, Najib said the bailout never happened and maintained that all projects awarded to China-based companies including the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the Trans-Sabah Pipeline were not above the market price.
“Malaysia will continue to keep its agreement with Abu Dhabi-owned IPIC and ensure that all the money allegedly missing from 1MDB will be returned before December 31, 2020.
“There has been no accusation that the gas pipe project was extraordinarily expensive. The Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline awarded to a Chinese company in 2016 with a 662km length is worth RM4.06 billion.
“In comparison, the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline Project that was 500km long and was awarded to an Indian-based consortium in 2008 was completed with RM4.6 billion cost,” Najib defended.
The Pekan MP said he did his best to defend the RM55 billion ECRL and tried to lay the blame on the East Coast Economic Region Development Council which proposed the project back in 2007.
He added that the Pakatan Harapan government that accused the ECRL project of being above the market value of RM30 billion, had never shown any evidence to prove this.
The embattled former prime minister who has been accused of multiple accounts of corruption and abuses of power said the RM30 billion was based on 2009 study for a length of 545km in comparison to the final length of 620km.
Najib also refuted claims that China was going to use its influence in the US to ensure that any charges on the 1MDB mega financial scandal will be dropped.
“WSJ itself has reported that the US government is continuing its investigations. WSJ also reported that the Chinese government had offered to spy on their journalists... but this never happened either,” he said.