China will understand, says Guan Eng on money seizure from HSBC account

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s seizure of over RM1 billion from a Chinese pipeline company is not directed against the Chinese government, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told the Dewan Rakyat today.

“It is company-specific, not country-specific,” he said, referring to China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP).

“If we feel the project carried out by a company is not beneficial to the nation, we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s interest,” he said when asked by Chan Foong Hin (PH-Kota Kinabalu) if Putrajaya would negotiate two pipeline projects with China.

Lim said the seizure is similar to Malaysia’s demand for US investment bank Goldman Sachs to repay funds it defrauded through bonds issuances on behalf of 1MDB.

“When we made a claim against Goldman Sachs, it was not against the US but the company. And these countries will understand.”

It was reported that HSBC was instructed by the government to transfer US$243.25 million from CPP’s account to Suria Strategic Resources Sdn Bhd, a finance ministry-owned company.

CPP is the main contractor for the 660km peninsular west coast pipeline, costing RM5.35 billion, and the Sabah gas pipeline costing RM4.06 billion.

Both projects were suspended by the Pakatan Harapan government.