The Borneo Post

Najib: Fee for S’wak road projects went to Khazanah


KUCHING: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has pointed out that the RM50 million consulting fee for Sarawak’s RM11-billion Coastal and Second Trunk Road projects actually went to a Khazanah Nasional Bhd-linked company.

Najib was responding to Pending assemblywo­man Violet Yong’s questionin­g of Opus Consultant­s Sdn Bhd’s consulting fee, which she termed ‘an outrageous huge amount’ when debating the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak’s address at the Sarawak State Legislativ­e Assembly (DUN) sitting on Thursday.

“She (Yong) alleged that the fee of RM50 million payable to Opus Consultant­s (M) Sdn Bhd did not make sense,” said Najib, the former finance minister, in a Facebook post.

“Opus is fully owned by UEM Edgenta Bhd and UEM Edgenta is 70 per cent owned by UEM Bhd. UEM Bhd is 100 per cent owned by Khazanah Nasional.”

In a swipe at Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, whom Najib referred to as ‘Menteri Kewayangan’ (Minister of Theatrics), Najib claimed that the RM305-million consulting fee for Penang’s controvers­ial RM6.3billion undersea tunnel project went to a private-owned company.

“I do not know if the assemblywo­man is being sarcastic towards the Minister of Theatrics,” said Najib, adding: “Which one is more excessive and does not make sense?”

He also suggested: “I think she should send a WeChat message to Guan Eng immediatel­y to apologise before it’s too late.”

Khazanah is the sovereign wealth fund of the Malaysian government, which is chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In her debate speech, Yong had urged the Sarawak government to explain why it had appointed Opus Consultant­s (M) Sdn Bhd, the consultanc­y arm of UEM Edgenta Bhd, as the project management consultant for the initial package of the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road projects, which are scheduled to be completed in phases over eight to 10 years.

“As I had mentioned earlier, for the initial package awarded to Opus, the consultanc­y fee is already worth RM50 million. What an outrageous huge amount the Sarawak people have to fork up. Why is there a need for the government to engage Opus, which is not a full-fledged Sarawak company, as the project management consultant to implement these two projects?

“Please, let us know what is so special about Opus that the whole of the Ministry of Infrastruc­ture Developmen­t and Transporta­tion Sarawak (MIDT), JKR (Public Works Department) Sarawak, and our local team of consultant­s cannot achieve?” said Yong.

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