KUALA LUMPUR: It must be a first in Malaysia where a government subsidiary received promptly a full refund for a supposedly cancelled project, said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement. “The excuse given by the Finance Minister, not substantiated with any details or evidence, was almost as unbelievable as the Prime Minister receiving RM2.6 billion of Arab donation.”
Pua, who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary, wants to know the value of the project which required SRC International to pay in advance a whopping RM170 million. “SRC International is a wholly-owned government subsidiary but this mega-project escaped scrutiny, reports and mention by any Minister or media. What is the project?”
Again, Pua wants to know whether the Ministry of Finance invented a fictitious project to cover up for funds being transferred from SRC International to Putra Perdana.
He was disclosing that he had asked the Minister of Finance to explain why SRC International paid RM170 million to Putra Perdana Construction between 8 July 2014 to 8 August 2014.
The sums transferred were supposedly for an unnamed mega-project, noted Pua, but the RM27 million was not returned by Putra Perdana to SRC International but instead “given” to Najib. “Hence the utterly feeble reply provided by the Minister lends credence to the view that the unnamed fictitious project was made up in order to cover up illicit transactions between SRC International and Putra Perdana.”
He quoted Najib as saying: “SRC does not have any information with regards to the issue on the money that was channeled to the bank account of the Finance Minister, and this was based on news reports from a portal, (in) which the source of the news was unverified. In view of this, under the Standing Order 23(1)(i), the matter need not be answered, as it is one to seek clarification over a news report”.
The failure to provide an answer to the RM27 million was completely unacceptable because the information was not “based on a news report”, but instead based on a chart openly displayed by the Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali during a press conference, said Pua. “The Finance Minister’s refusal to answer a perfectly valid question arising from information provided by the Attorney-General himself demonstrates the utter contempt the Minister has for the Parliament.”
Pua recalled that Parliament had been previously informed that SRC International was specifically involved in the overseas investment in strategic energy and mining sectors. “How was such a project worth at least hundreds of millions of ringgit, if not billions, awarded to a mid-sized local construction company in anyway related to its stated mandate?”