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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Sapura only became a GLC in 2019, Najib tells Rafizi


Najib Razak says Rafizi Ramli’s observations on Sapura Energy were ‘weak’, egging him to ‘try again’.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak says Sapura Energy Bhd was not a government-linked company (GLC) until 2019 and that it was not under his purview when he helmed the top post.

In response to Rafizi Ramli’s statement that Sapura’s executive director earned some RM983 million when Najib was the prime minister, Najib said this had nothing to do with the government at the time.

“I did not speak out though the CEO was getting paid well because, before 2019, the company was a private company which was built and owned by the CEO into the second-largest oil and gas services company in the world,” Najib said in a Facebook post this morning.

“It wasn’t a GLC and it wasn’t under my observation and control when I was prime minister. Even if they wanted to pay RM1 billion a year, it was not the government’s problem as long as Sapura’s shareholders and board of directors allowed it.

“That was weak, Rafizi. Try again.”

Earlier, the PKR vice-president had said Sapura’s executive director received RM983 million in various payments from 2009 to 2018, when Najib was the prime minister.

He said it was unfair that the executive director was receiving three times more the amount of the dividends paid to other Sapura shareholders, including fund management companies like Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

In his retort, Najib asked Rafizi why he did not speak out when the Pakatan Harapan government injected some RM2.7 billion in funds into Sapura in 2019 to make Putrajaya the biggest shareholder.

This, he said, was despite PH knowing that the wages of its former CEO were very high.

“The one who bailed them out is (PH). But you were all quiet then. With that, Sapura became a GLC in 2019 and the former CEO retired in March 2021,” he said.

Najib said Rafizi and PH seemed to only be able to find faults and not solutions, maintaining that the problem at hand was that Sapura was at risk of going bankrupt.

“We have a chance to save the economy and the potential to generate wealth by recovering a big company in one of the most important industries to the country, at a time when global demand for oil and gas services is high.

“If Petronas, which really needs Sapura’s services, takes over or helps the firm, the government does not need to spend a sen to recover Sapura.

“If Sapura is allowed to go bankrupt, it will not yield any benefit to the country. I want to solve problems, but Rafizi wants to find faults,” he said. - FMT

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