Why was Malaysian consulate building undervalued by RM500m? Guan Eng asks Najib

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng Lim said Najib has not answered any of the questions regarding the direct tender process that the latter initiated during his time in office to sell the building. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng Lim said Najib has not answered any of the questions regarding the direct tender process that the latter initiated during his time in office to sell the building. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak why the Malaysian consulate’s building in Hong Kong was undervalued by half a billion ringgit.

Lim said Najib has not answered any of the questions regarding the direct tender process that the latter initiated during his time in office to sell the building.

“It’s time for the former finance minister to explain why he agreed to sell the land and building in Hong Kong through direct negotiations at RM1.1 billion when there are offers at RM1.6 billion,” Lim said in a statement.

Najib yesterday reportedly expressed concern to reporters in the Dewan Rakyat over the government’s decision to sell the 28-storey building it owned in Hong Kong.

Among several Malaysian government agencies, the building located on Gloucester Road, is also home to its Consulate-General.

Lim however slammed Najib in Parliament yesterday for criticising the Pakatan Harapan government for the sale.

Lim reminded the Pekan MP that it was during his time that the sale was agreed upon, pointing out that the Penang undersea tunnel project was done by open tender and not through direct negotiations.

“If the previous government decided to sell the land and building in Hong Kong through direct negotiations, then where’s the offer letter from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) that should’ve been out before 9 May 2018?” asked Lim.

“After the new government took over, MOF have received multiple offers at values as high as RM1.6 billion.

“Based on these numbers we at MOF and the Cabinet decided that it’s in the best interest of the country to open the tender process so we can get the best value.”

The building in Hong Kong is said to need RM300 million in repairs, hence the decision to sell it. The open tender process is currently ongoing.

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