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Where are the China benefits tied to RM9.4b scandal, Guan Eng asks Najib.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak's claims that China had committed to benefiting Malaysia with trillions of US dollars in relation to two projects in Malaysia worth RM9.4 billion are 'untrue', Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

Lim cast doubt on Najib's statements last week, where the former prime minister had spoken of his signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the two projects in Beijing on May 14, 2017 along with other projects.

Lim also referred to Najib's assertion that China had also committed to importing goods worth US$2 trillion over the next five years from Malaysia, investing up to US$150 billion in Malaysia and offer 10,000 places for training and studies in various institutes in China.

But Lim said no Malaysian officials confirmed the claims.

'Over the past few days, we have sought the assistance of the Treasury officials and the Chief Secretary to the federal government to determine the veracity of former prime minister's claims that the trillion of US dollars commitments made by China to Malaysia were linked to the signing of the two pipeline agreements worth RM9.4 billion.

'All officials asked have stated that these claims by Datuk Seri Najib are untrue,' Lim said in a statement today.

'There was no mention of the various 'commitments' made by China as claimed by Dato' Seri Najib in any of the Cabinet papers presented in 2016 and 2017, which approved the SSER projects,' Lim said, referring to the two projects under the Finance Ministry subsidiary Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER).

'Unless of course there are certain hidden Cabinet papers or 'red' Cabinet minutes that no one has access to except the former prime minister himself,' Lim added.

Last Tuesday, Lim revealed the discovery of the new RM9.4 billion scandal that was hidden away in the Finance Ministry's 'red' files that were inaccessible by even the auditor-general.

The scandal revolves around both the RM5.35 billion MPP project for a 600km-long multi-product petroleum pipeline linking Melaka and Port Dickson to Jitra, and also the RM4.06 billion TSGP project in Sabah to build a 662km-long gas pipeline from Kimanis Gas Terminal to Sandakan and Tawau.

Lim said that RM8.3 billion or 88 per cent of the RM9.4 billion value has been disbursed, even though the MPP and TSGP projects were recorded as having only 14.5 per cent and 11.4 per cent of the works completed by the end of March 2018.

These completion rates have also yet to be verified and audited, Lim said.

Today, Lim continued to question Najib over the alleged RM9.4 billion scandal, claiming that the latter had 'deliberately refused to respond' to the key question of why the RM8.3 billion payment was made despite only an average of 13 per cent work completion.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Jun 11, 2018
Words:551
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