Thursday, March 10, 2016

Did the Ministry of Finance invent a fictitious project to cover up for funds being transferred from SRC International to Putra Perdana?

I had asked the Minister of Finance to explain why SRC International paid RM170 million to Putra Perdana Construction between 8 July 2014 to 8 August 2014. Mysteriously this amount was also returned to SRC International at the end of 2014. SRC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the finance ministry.

In the reply received yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said SRC International Sdn Bhd paid RM170 million to Syarikat Putra Perdana Construction for a turnkey project.

Najib said in Parliament today that Putra Perdana Construction returned the money to SRC, following cancellation of the project.

This must be the very first time in Malaysia where a Government subsidiary received promptly a full refund for a supposedly cancelled project.   The excuse given by the Finance Minister which was not substantiated with any details or evidence, is almost as unbelievable as the Prime Minister receiving RM2.6 billion of Arab donation.

What was the value of the project which required SRC International to pay in advance a whopping RM170 million? Given that SRC International is a wholly-owned government subsidiary, what exactly is this mega-project which escaped scrutiny, report and mention by any Minister or media?

What’s more, the Parliament has been previously informed that SRC International was specifically involved in the overseas investment in strategic energy and mining sectors.  How such a project worth at least hundreds of millions of ringgit, if not billions, awarded to a mid-sized local construction company in anyway related to its stated mandate?

Worse, the actual amount transferred to Putra Perdana Construction was RM197 million, of which only RM170 million was returned.  The balance of the RM27 million was channelled to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal account by Putra Perdana Construction immediately upon receipt from SRC International.

If the sums transferred were indeed for a unnamed mega-project, then why was the RM27 million not returned by Putra Perdana to SRC International but instead “given” to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak?

Hence the utterly feeble reply provided by the Minister lends credence to the view that the unnamed fictitious project was made up in order to cover up illicit transactions between SRC International and Putra Perdana.

Furthermore, in the Finance Minister’s reply, he said based on Malaysian parliamentary rules, he did not need to respond to allegations on the RM27 million, which was based on a news report.

"SRC does not have any information with regards to the issue on the money that was channelled to the bank account of Finance Minister, and this was based on news report from a portal, (in) which the source of the news was unverified.  In view of this, under the Standing Order 23(1)(i), the matter need not be answered, as it is one to seek clarification over a news report," Dato’ Seri Najib said.

The failure to provide an answer to the RM27 million is completely unacceptable because the information was not “based on a news report”, but instead based on a chart openly displayed by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali during a press conference.  The Finance Minister’s refusal to answer a perfectly valid question arising from information provided by the Attorney-General himself demonstrates an utter contempt the Minister has for the Parliament.

The only way for the Prime Minister to be absolved of the alleged crimes is to come clean with all the necessary evidence to be judge by all Malaysians.

However, the failure by the Prime Minister to shed light on the matter goes to only to strengthen the suspicions and belief of ordinary Malaysians that tax-payers money has been illicitly transferred from state-owned entities to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal account.

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