‘IT’S HEART­LESS TO SAB­O­TAGE ECON­OMY’

Malaysia nearly lost a RM31b Saudi deal, thanks to un­pa­tri­otic acts of ex-leader

New Straits Times - - News -

PUTRAJAYA

DATUK Seri Na­jib Razak yes­ter­day took aim at a former leader and cer­tain un­scrupu­lous peo­ple for sab­o­tag­ing the coun­try’s econ­omy, say­ing their “heart­less act” could vic­timise the peo­ple.

The prime min­is­ter cited a case where Malaysia nearly lost a RM31 bil­lion in­vest­ment from Saudi Aramco due to the un­pa­tri­otic at­ti­tude of cer­tain quar­ters who fed wrong in­for­ma­tion on this coun­try to the Saudi Ara­bian oil gi­ant.

“This is be­cause there are peo­ple who are heart­less. Their mo­tive is po­lit­i­cal but the vic­tims are the Malaysian peo­ple,” Na­jib said when launch­ing the Ek­spresi Ne­garaku event at Dataran Putrajaya yes­ter­day.

The Saudi in­vest­ment, he said, would creat more jobs and of­fer a brighter fu­ture to the younger gen­er­a­tion.

“We al­most missed the big­gest rezeki due to the ac­tions of cer­tain un­scrupu­lous in­di­vid­u­als. They are heart­less peo­ple who are po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated to top­ple Malaysia. In the end, it is the rakyat who are the vic­tims.

“There were peo­ple giv­ing false in­for­ma­tion.

“What hap­pened was that we al­most lost the good rezeki.”

Na­jib said Saudi Aramco was ini­tially re­luc­tant to in­vest in Malaysia af­ter be­ing fed with in­for­ma­tion that Malaysia had pur­port­edly been placed in the po­lit­i­cally risky cat­e­gory.

He said Saudi Aramco was also given in­for­ma­tion that Malaysia was not a stable coun­try, its Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund was al­most bank­rupt and that the gov­ern­ment was un­able to pay the salary of its pub­lic ser­vants.

The said Malaysia could have lost ma­jor eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of the neg­a­tive per­cep­tions spread by the former leader.

The ex-leader’s claim that Malaysia was one of the 10 most cor­rupt coun­tries in the world was un­ac­cept­able, he said, de­scrib­ing those who spread such lies and half-truths as un­pa­tri­otic and heart­less.

While Na­jib did not name the ex-leader, his re­marks were ap­par­ently di­rected at former prime min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, who had al­leged in his blog that Malaysia was listed among the 10 most cor­rupt coun­tries in the world.

“The truth is, the cor­rup­tion in­dex showed that Malaysia is at 55th place out of 160 coun­tries. We are not as bad as what some have claimed,” he said.

“We can ac­cept crit­i­cism. As prime min­is­ter, I ad­mit there is still room for im­prove­ment in Malaysia. But, we can­not ac­cept at­tempts to top­ple the gov­ern­ment and dam­age the good name of Malaysia.”

Na­jib said neg­a­tive per­cep­tions could af­fect the peace and har­mony of the coun­try, as well as sab­o­tage the econ­omy.

Saudi Aramco re­cently agreed to take a 50 per cent stake in the Petro­liam Na­sional Bhd (Petronas) Re­fin­ery and Petro­chem­i­cal In­te­grated De­vel­op­ment (RAPID) project.

The share pur­chase agree­ment was signed on Feb 28 dur­ing the state visit by Saudi ruler King Sal­man Ab­dulaziz Al-Saud.

Mean­while, Na­jib said Ek­spresi Ne­garaku was a plat­form for Malaysians to gather to let the world know that Malaysia was not a failed state as claimed by cer­tain quar­ters.

He said Malaysia was a suc­cess­ful coun­try and the gov­ern­ment would do its best to en­sure pros­per­ity.

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