PM says open to talks with Beijing over RM1b seizure from Chinese firm

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad addresses the ‘Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019’ in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad addresses the ‘Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019’ in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Putrajaya is willing to discuss with Beijing the Malaysian government’s forfeiture of RM1 billion from a state-linked Chinese pipeline firm, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

“We are ready to talk to China all the time,” the prime minister said following the launch of the Beyond Paradigm Summit 2019 at MITEC.

On Monday, Dr Mahathir said the government was entitled to seize the RM1 billion from China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co Ltd, as the oil and gas pipeline projects worth US$2.3 billion (RM9.47 billion) had been cancelled.

The previous Barisan Nasional administration had paid out 88 per cent of the total value despite no physical work being done on both projects.

The Pakatan Harapan government cancelled the Multi-Product Pipeline worth RM5.35 billion and the 662km Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline worth RM4.06 billion on suspicion of fraud.

It was reported that Beijing is seeking to resolve the seizure via a “friendly consultation” with Putrajaya.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the projects, which had been awarded to the subsidiary of state energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation, had been “carried out in accordance with the contract”, international newswire Associated Press reported today.

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