KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says industry players will only be awarded renewable energy projects if they come up with viable proposals.
The prime minister also rejected the notion that those who receive such contracts are cronies.
“If they come up with proposals and they are viable proposals, we will support them. They do not necessarily need to be my sons-in-law,” he told reporters after officiating an event here today.
“I will not give it to them,” he added. “I will ask for their certification.”
He also said the government would help the sector as much as possible, but cautioned that the amount of support would not be “as big as before”.
Mahathir had earlier rejected suggestions that companies awarded renewable energy projects were linked to his relatives.
“They don’t even talk to me now because I never help them,” he said.
Nonetheless, he added, the government had to award the projects to someone.
“If you don’t give them to anybody at all, the country cannot progress.”
Mahathir also said the government would be evaluating proposals to take over PLUS, the country’s largest highway concessionaire.
He said Putrajaya had received many proposals, but that the government must ensure that money is used wisely, “not just because we want to protect the government or certain leaders”.
If the government received good bids from the private sector, he added, these would be considered.