Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed shock at the revelation that then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government had in February revived two scandal-plagued pipeline projects from Najib Abdul Razak’s era.
This was with regard to the Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) and Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) projects commissioned by the Finance Ministry-owned Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER).
“These two projects are one of the most preposterous financial scandals of the Najib administration where SSER paid RM8.3 billion, or 88 percent of the project’s construction value of RM9.4 billion, even though progressive work completion (that has not been audited) was only at 13 percent,” Lim said in a statement today.
Najib’s former special officer Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin had testified in the former premier’s 1MDB graft trial that the SSER projects were among several mega-deals offered to China in order to help bail out 1MDB.
Lim, who served as the finance minister under the Pakatan Harapan government from 2018 to 2020, had cancelled the SSER projects.
No action on perpetrators
He questioned why Muhyiddin revived those projects without punishing the perpetrators.
“The question remains why Muhyiddin did not take any action against the perpetrators of such an extraordinary and humongous financial wrongdoing in paying billions of ringgit for work not done with 88 percent payout for 13 percent of unaudited progressive work done.
“Even if the previous government had decided to revive and continue with the two projects, those who were involved in betraying the country’s financial interests must not be allowed to go unpunished,” he added.
The revival of the projects came to light after Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz revealed the matter in a parliamentary written reply to DAP’s Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin during the recently concluded Dewan Rakyat sitting.
Zafrul had also served as finance minister under Muhyiddin’s government.
Ismail Sabri urged to set new course
The DAP lawmaker urged Muhyiddin’s successor to address the matter.
“Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob must come clean with his role in the previous administration and set a new course to ensure that not only the financial interest of the country is protected but those involved in swindling their own country with such traitorous acts be severely punished.
“Failure to do so would show that Ismail Sabri is no different from his predecessors in closing a blind eye and even trying to cover up such financial crimes,” Lim said.
The 662km TSGP is a pipeline project connecting the Kimanis Gas Terminal to Sandakan and Tawau while the 600km MPP is a pipeline project connecting various petrochemical projects in Malacca and Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan to Jitra, Kedah.