Pakatan wants swift MACC probe into controversial Sabah pipeline project revival

General view of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya June 21, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
General view of the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya June 21, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Pakatan Harapan leaders issued today demanded explanation and urged authorities to launch a thorough probe into the government’s decision to revive projects seen as legacies of Barisan Nasional mismanagement.

The RM9.4 billion Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) and Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) projects were scrapped by the former PH administration over alleged funding irregularities.

It was recently revealed that the projects had been revived by the succeeding government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a decision communicated in February this year.

PH said they were shocked by the revelation. The coalition’s presidential council in a statement this evening said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is “obligated” to investigate, saying the irregularities around the projects pointed to financial crimes.

“The PH presidential council was extremely shocked by the decision to revive the TSGP as revealed by the Finance Minister in Parliament recently,” the coalition said, noting that only 13 per cent of the pipelines were finished despite the contractor having received up to 88 per cent of the payment.

“As such, the MACC is obligated to investigate thoroughly as to why the TSGP and MPP that were deemed to have failed had been allowed to resume starting February 10, 2021, by the Perikatan Nasional under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.”

The two projects were initiated in 2016 by the government of then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The TSGP, with a construction cost of RM9.4 billion, would have involved building 662km of gas pipelines from the Sabah oil and gas terminal in Kimanis on the state’s west coast to the east coast districts of Sandakan and Tawau.

The MPP was aimed at connecting petrochemical projects in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan to Kedah.

Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, was mandated to undertake the two projects but were later passed to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB), allegedly under Najib’s instructions.

DAP secretary-general and former finance minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday the two projects were among the most preposterous financial scandals of the Najib administration.

The PH statement was undersigned by the heads of all component members, including Lim.

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