Cops question Rafizi over comment on RM142 million loss in Saudi Arabia

(FMT) – PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli was questioned by the police yesterday following his allegation that Putrajaya’s business dealings with Saudi Arabia had brought about losses of as much as RM142 million.

Rafizi said police were investigating the matter under Section 500 of the Penal Code for defamation and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities or network service.

“I was called regarding two statements and a video recording on Prasarana’s investment in Saudi Arabia where I exposed losses of RM142 million based on a (parliamentary) reply given by Prime Minister Najib Razak,” he said.

“I understand why this controversy has arisen. Although Najib had said he had received a donation from Saudi Arabia, the truth was that the Malaysian people were the ones who had ‘donated’ to Saudi Arabia.”

Rafizi, who is Pandan MP, said this outside the Dang Wangi police station where he was questioned for an hour and a half.

On July 27, Rafizi had alleged that Malaysia was forced to bear losses through its dealing with Saudi Arabia since the issue of a RM2.6 billion donation in Najib’s personal account had come to light.

Najib had previously said that the RM2.6 billion was a contribution from a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family for Umno’s general election machinery in 2013, although there were quarters who claimed that the money was related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Rafizi alleged that state-owned Prasarana Malaysia Berhad had made a huge financial loss in a deal to operate and maintain a metro train project in Saudi Arabia.

Citing information he had obtained, Rafizi estimated that Prasarana would lose RM142 million from 2015 through to May 2018.

The Saudi deal was agreed on in May 2015 when the Malaysian transport infrastructure company was awarded a contract to take over the operation and maintenance of the Mecca pilgrims train service, Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro Southern Line (MMMSL), from China Railway Construction Consortium (CRCC).

Rafizi said his calculation of the losses borne by Malaysia in undertaking the transportation project had been confirmed in a written reply issued by Najib in the Dewan Rakyat on July 26.

Najib, in the written reply, said the value of the Prasarana contract for the period from December 2014 until May 2018 was RM930 million.

“The total revenue received up to June 30, 2017 was RM580 million while expenditure over the period totalled RM679 million,” the prime minister added.

Rafizi said based on Najib’s reply, the deficit borne by the government was RM99 million, consistent with his own calculations.

Rafizi claimed the fact that police are investigating him showed that the government was afraid that the matter would be known to the public, adding that he was ready to face possible prosecution in court.