KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak and Umno leaders who held their own mini Merdeka Day celebration in the city today have questioned the move by the Ministry of Finance to allow Petron to supply fuel to government vehicles, saying it was not in the interest of national oil company Petronas.
Najib, who was present with his wife Rosmah Mansor at the Perdana Botanical Gardens here, said Putrajaya’s green light for Petron, whose Philippines-based parent company Petron Corporation is linked to Mirzan Mahathir, the son of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, amounted to disrupting the business of Petronas that “belonged to the Malaysian people”.
“Questions will be asked on why Petronas’ income from government expenditures is allowed to be disrupted by none other than the Malaysian government itself,” Najib wrote on Facebook.
Petronas and Shell are currently fuel providers for government vehicles, but a circular from MOF yesterday added Petron as a third supplier.
Najib said Petronas and Shell stations were available nationwide and were adequate to service government vehicles.
“If it’s about convenience, why then Caltex and BHP are sidelined, whereas they have more or less the same number of stations as Petron,” he added.
Najib further told reporters today: “This decision poses some sort of conflict, at least morally.”
‘Where is Anwar?’
Meanwhile, Umno’s Lokman Noor Adam said the decision to add Petron as a fuel provider showed that the Pakatan Harapan cabinet was corrupt.
“To approve Petron as one of the suppliers of fuel for government vehicles, it is a big decision. We are using Petronas, which is a national oil company, and now we are including Petron,” said Lokman, who heads the Umno-linked pressure group Pemantau Malaysia Baru.
He said the move would “gravely affect Petronas”.
“This could only happen with the cabinet’s approval, and if the cabinet realises one of the members of the board of directors in Petron is Mirzan Mahathir, and if they know Mahathir is his father, and they still approve it, the whole cabinet is corrupt,” he said.
Lokman said the decision was no different from how Opcom Group, linked to Mahathir’s son Mokhzani, secured a RM11.16 million contract from Telekom Malaysia to install and restore Unifi services, just four days after PH’s coming to power.
Lokman asked if PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim, who is set to take over from Mahathir as prime minister, would criticise “corruption and abuse of power by Mahathir”.
He said if Anwar chose to remain silent, “the rakyat must stand up not just against Mahathir but also Anwar”.
“We cannot accept leaders who are corrupt. I hope Anwar will do something,” he added.
Petron Corporation had said in 2013 that Mirzan did not have any shares or a role in its Malaysian operations.
However it said he was elected as a director of Petron Corporation on Aug 13, 2010 and held 1,000 shares.