‘IT’S HEARTLESS TO SABOTAGE ECONOMY’
Malaysia nearly lost a RM31b Saudi deal, thanks to unpatriotic acts of ex-leader
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.