1MDB just an excuse, what about multi-billion ringgit projects, asks Najib

Former prime minister Najib Razak says 1MDB’s principal debt is only RM32.2 billion.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has criticised Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for blaming the Pakatan Harapan government’s inability to abolish tolls on the 1MDB scandal.

In a Facebook post, Najib zeroed in on Lim’s failure to mention billion-ringgit projects being carried out by the government.

Earlier today, Lim said it would not have been a problem for the government to abolish tolls if it were not for 1MDB.

“1MDB cost us RM150 billion. Though we’ve recovered RM47 billion, we are still short of RM103 billion,” he said, adding that buying out PLUS’ concessions would cost RM45.2 billion.

The government has decided against selling PLUS to the private sector and it will remain with its two owners – Khazanah, which owns 51% through UEM Group, and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which owns 49%.

PLUS’ concession, which was supposed to end in 2038, will be extended by 20 years to 2058. Toll rates will be reduced by 18% from this year, with no hikes for the next 38 years.

Najib had previously said 1MDB’s principal debt stood at RM32.2 billion.

“Guan Eng did not mention why RM32 billion can destroy the country when they can carry out the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan project and the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan worth RM21.5 billion,” said the Pekan MP.

He also said Lim failed to mention how 1MDB’s RM32 billion debt, which only matures in 2039, can destroy the nation when PH can increase the nation’s direct debt by RM120 billion, take RM104 billion from Petronas and sell RM50 billion in assets.

“He also did not mention why the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) worth RM40 billion and the RM140 billion Bandar Malaysia project cannot pay for the 1MDB’s RM32 billion debt,” Najib said.

TRX and Bandar Malaysia are 1MDB projects.