RAPID project: Opposition told to get their facts right

Minister Rahman Dahlan warns that inaccurate statements could cause foreign investors to form a negative view of Malaysia.

(FMT) – The opposition has been asked to stop issuing confusing facts about the strategic cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Petronas in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Johor.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the statements issued were not only inaccurate but could also cause investors to look down on Malaysia.

“That’s why I say, read and don’t pick up stories from the roadside… I want to tell the opposition this, read (the information on the project) on the Petronas website and do research, so that they will not come out with such statements.

“Your facts are in disarray. This is what is worrying us if such statements come out from the opposition, which will cause foreign investors to call us (Malaysia) a pariah state,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Dr Ko Chung Sen (DAP-Kampar) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Rahman said the confusing statements included the accusation that the strategic agreement would benefit Saudi Aramco more and that Petronas would be the loser, along with the purported selling of the country’s interest in the RAPID project.

“I want to explain here that the whole project is called the Pengerang International Petroleum Complex (PIPC) and in it is the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) as a component, which is worth RM27 billion.

“Then in the PIC is the RAPID component where there is cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Petronas, so it is incorrect when the honourable member accuses that the investment by Saudi Aramco in RAPID is 50% in PIPC, because the investment is only in RAPID,” he said.

To Ko’s original question on the construction status and estimated cost of the project, Rahman said that up until now, the PIC project encompassing the RAPID project was 60% completed and expected to begin operations in 2019.

He also said that Saudi Aramco’s decision to invest in the RAPID project in Pengerang was a recognition of the efforts made by Petronas and the good relations between the two countries.

“I believe there are many more economic advantages that can be shared by Malaysians with Saudi Arabia for the benefit of both countries in the future.

“Besides that, it (the project) is a benchmark to foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy and also towards the expertise and capabilities of our local young people,” he said.