New multi-billion scandal of former Malaysian government exposed

Malaysia’s new finance minister Lim Guan Eng on June 5 said he will report to the anti-graft agency upfront payments of 9.4 billion ringgit ($2.36 billion) the previous administration made to a Chinese firm for two pipeline projects that have barely begun.

Lim said that he found out that nearly 90 per cent of the contract’s worth has been paid out, but only 13 per cent of the work being completed.

The projects – one petroleum pipeline running from Melaka and Negeri Sembilan to Kedah, and a gas pipeline from Kimanis to Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah – were handled by Suria Strategic Energy Resources (SSER), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance. SSER awarded the works to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CCPB)

Both projects were approved by the cabinet in July 2016 under the previous Barisan Nasional administration of ex-prime minister Najib Razak.

“We have discovered that the payment schedules for the contracts are based almost entirely on timeline milestones, and not on progressive work completion milestones,” Lim said in a statement, adding that the contracts were negotiated directly by Najib’s office and that he had ignored red flags and left questions raised by the attorney-general’s office on both deals unanswered.

SSER’s president is Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin, who is also a director of Putrajaya Perdana Sdn Bhd, a company that Lim said was linked “directly with Low Jho”, the businessman named by US authorities as responsible for the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysia’s now bankrupt state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

As the new scandal unfolds, Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor has been questioned by Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission on June 5 about alleged theft and money-laundering involving 1MDB, particularly about $28 million in cash and more than 400 expensive designer handbags that were seized at the former first couple’s residences in Kuala Lumpur.

In another blow, their lawyer M. Puravelan declared that he is no longer representing Rosmah and Najib. Another prominent lawyer Yusof Zainal Abideen has also withdrawn. He said they didn’t quit because of disagreement over legal strategies for the 1MDB case but declined to elaborate.

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Malaysia’s new finance minister Lim Guan Eng on June 5 said he will report to the anti-graft agency upfront payments of 9.4 billion ringgit ($2.36 billion) the previous administration made to a Chinese firm for two pipeline projects that have barely begun.

Malaysia’s new finance minister Lim Guan Eng on June 5 said he will report to the anti-graft agency upfront payments of 9.4 billion ringgit ($2.36 billion) the previous administration made to a Chinese firm for two pipeline projects that have barely begun.

Lim said that he found out that nearly 90 per cent of the contract’s worth has been paid out, but only 13 per cent of the work being completed.

The projects – one petroleum pipeline running from Melaka and Negeri Sembilan to Kedah, and a gas pipeline from Kimanis to Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah – were handled by Suria Strategic Energy Resources (SSER), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance. SSER awarded the works to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CCPB)

Both projects were approved by the cabinet in July 2016 under the previous Barisan Nasional administration of ex-prime minister Najib Razak.

“We have discovered that the payment schedules for the contracts are based almost entirely on timeline milestones, and not on progressive work completion milestones,” Lim said in a statement, adding that the contracts were negotiated directly by Najib’s office and that he had ignored red flags and left questions raised by the attorney-general’s office on both deals unanswered.

SSER’s president is Mohammed Azhar Osman Khairuddin, who is also a director of Putrajaya Perdana Sdn Bhd, a company that Lim said was linked “directly with Low Jho”, the businessman named by US authorities as responsible for the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysia’s now bankrupt state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

As the new scandal unfolds, Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor has been questioned by Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission on June 5 about alleged theft and money-laundering involving 1MDB, particularly about $28 million in cash and more than 400 expensive designer handbags that were seized at the former first couple’s residences in Kuala Lumpur.

In another blow, their lawyer M. Puravelan declared that he is no longer representing Rosmah and Najib. Another prominent lawyer Yusof Zainal Abideen has also withdrawn. He said they didn’t quit because of disagreement over legal strategies for the 1MDB case but declined to elaborate.

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