KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Sri Najib Tun Razak did not collateralise oil and gas blocks off Sabah to the Chinese for a loan of RM100 billion, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“I refer to a message that has gone viral via Whatsapp and other social media since yesterday afternoon, purportedly to be a warning to Sabahans, Sabah MPs and ADUNs with regard to the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) project.
“It is a blatant lie perpetrated by irresponsible parties who would benefit from the people’s anger and mistrust towards the federal and state governments.
“To set the record straight, the owner-cum-developer of the TSGP is Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER), a company wholly-owned by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance. China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau is the project’s engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor,” he said in a statement.
He said while the project would be funded by a soft loan from the Export and Import Bank of China, there was no truth in the allegations that the loan amount would be RM100 billion or that oil and gas blocks off Sabah were collateralised to China in order to secure the loan.
“The loan amount would be some RM4.53 billion, constituting the total cost of the project and which would be guaranteed by the federal government.
“With the guarantee in place, there’s no need for SSER to collateralise any Malaysian oil and gas block to the Chinese,” he said.
Abdul Rahman also pointed out that land matters were strictly under the state’s jurisdiction and that without engagement and cooperation between Sabah and the federal government, the project could not proceed, “which debunks the claim that the state government was not consulted and involved in the project”.
Meanwhile, he urged the people to remain vigilant against unverified news from unknown sources meant to create discontent and distrust towards the government.
“Sharing without verifying will only perpetuate and worsen the fake news problem that we are facing today,” he said.