PKR's Rafizi lambasted for comments on Saudi Aramco-Petronas deal

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN

PUTRAJAYA: PKR Pandan Member of Parliament Rafizi Ramli should be thankful to the Saudi Arabian government and Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) for choosing to invest in Malaysia, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said today.

He said their investment of US$7 billion (RM31.08 billion) in the refinery and petrochemical integrated development project (Rapid) in Johor will provide employment opportunities for thousands of Malaysians.

"Some 60,000 jobs will be created during the construction of the project, and 8,000 positions will be offered after the project is completed.

"If this is ‘not fair’, I don't know what else to say," Rahman said during a press conference after launching the Syndication Laboratory of the second wave (2015-2017) of Teraju’s 2020 roadmap to transform the Bumiputera economy.

Last week, Rafizi suggested that Rahman's intervention in the US$7 billion deal between Petronas and Saudi Aramco has led to the former paying a higher price for crude oil provided by the latter.

He also cited media reports which claimed that Saudi Aramco was turning down the deal over worries that the partnership would not generate sufficient revenues.

“This means that one of the main reasons why there was no agreement between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, before the intervention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Abdul Rahman, was due to the investment returns rate determined by Saudi Aramco, which Petronas did not agree with," Rafizi said.

Rahman responded further by saying that developing the country's economy should not only be the government's responsibility, but also the opposition’s.

"Rafizi should also be responsible (in helping) develop the country's economy. Don't just politicise everything," Rahman said.