Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that he had not been told of anti-graft officials investigating national oil giant Petronas on corruption allegations.
The Malaysian Insider reported earlier today that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) raided Petronas in the past weeks after receiving tip-offs of alleged corruption by project consultants working on exploration and production efforts in Malaysian waters.
Najib speaks to the press after the BN supreme council meeting on November 11, 2011. — Picture by Jack Ooi
According to sources, MACC officials briefed Najib before he left for the haj last week. The prime minister returned home yesterday.
“No, I’m not aware,” Najib told reporters after the Barisan Nasional (BN) supreme council meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
A source had told The Malaysian Insider that the MACC investigators had gone in as there had been “many complaints” of some seeking gifts in return for making recommendations for contracts.
Another source confirmed the investigation into the national oil company, saying the MACC has informed Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The MACC does not confirm investigations for fear of jeopardising its work.
Industry sources said corruption has become rampant over the years as Petronas has been giving out a host of contracts for its various operations, including the new push for marginal oil fields. But they did not identify which section of Petronas was being investigated by the MACC.
Another source said the Petronas management has had various meetings to discuss allegations of graft among its employees, who are among the best paid in Malaysia with perks including attractive housing loans, medical benefits and other incentives.
The MACC recorded the most arrests related to graft last year, nabbing 944 people, of whom more than 400 were bribe givers.
Petronas was incorporated in August 1974 and is ranked among Fortune Global’s 500 largest corporations, coming in 107th last year after being in the top 100 for 2008 and 2009. The company has more than 40,000 permanent employees in Malaysia and across the 35 nations where it has operations.
The oil company owns the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers where a third tower was built recently and also Putrajaya, the country’s administrative capital that is leased to the government.
Of course denial will be the standard answer. Not surprising at all.
That there is graft in a set-up as big as a petroleum corporation is also not surprising because there is plenty of oil to oil the cogs and wheels of such a big machinery. But then crumbs there could be loafs elsewhere.
whether it trickles down to where we are is another issue altogether...
Who are we going to believe? MACC says that the PM has been informed but then the PM has denied any knowledge of the Petronas investigation.
This ironic situation can only exist in Bolehland where everything is possible. The rakyat have been made out to be nothing more than silly fools! But we'll show them at the ballot box for undermining us and testing our intelligence!