Najib: How could BN shake down China’s giants?

Justin Ong
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rubbished Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that the previous Barisan Nasional administration forced some Chinese firms to issue 30 per cent in shares to select individuals. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rubbished Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that the previous Barisan Nasional administration forced some Chinese firms to issue 30 per cent in shares to select individuals.

Responding to Dr Mahathir’s remarks in China, Najib pointed out that the firms awarded contracts by his administration were China Communications Construction Company Ltd for the East Coast Rail Link and China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau Ltd for two gas pipeline projects.

The first is a state-run firm with annual sales of over US$70 billion (RM287.1 billion) while the second is the world’s largest pipeline builder and a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, he noted.

“Does it make sense that the BN government asked for 30 per cent stakes in these Chinese state firms as bribes? Is Tun Mahathir claiming that these giant, China-owned firms abetted BN to commit corruption?

“Tun Mahathir must stop this fiction and show proof that his claims are true, and as a prime minister, he should also stop playing politics in front of foreign investors,” he wrote on Facebook.

Earlier this evening, Dr Mahathir told a forum in Beijing that the previous administration allegedly made Chinese investors issue the stakes to unnamed individuals, to support his depiction of BN as corrupt.

The PM then pledged to Chinese investors that his government will not attempt to extract any undue payments from them or offer to expedite approvals for cash.

He added that Malaysian authorities will observe all of the country’s laws and vowed that necessary approvals will be granted with as few delays as possible.

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