Daim leading negotiations with China to recoup RM8.3b payment for pipeline projects, says finance minister

The former Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Tun Daim Zainuddin is leading the negotiations with China to retrieve the RM8.3 billion that was already paid to contractors of the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects.

(Bernama) – Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the discussions have been going on for the past one year.

“I do not think we can get a better negotiator than Tun Daim. He has the discretion and freedom because even though he is the chief negotiator, he is not part of the government.

“So he is able to manoeuvre as well as have the freedom to make suggestions that can allow both parties to reach amicable and agreeable solutions,” he told Bernama.

Daim, the country’s former finance minister, also led renegotiations on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project with the Chinese government on April 12, which saw the government successfully reduce the price of the rail project from RM65.5 billion previously to RM44 billion for a whopping saving of RM21.5 billion.

Lim said Daim managed to pull off the ECRL renegotiations without affecting the important bilateral relationship between China and Malaysia, while at the same time able to get Beijing to purchase more palm oil, put in more investments in Malaysia and assume half of the ECRL operating cost.

“This is the best deal we can get,” he said.

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