Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today pointedly told the media to report that he had instructed Petronas to award a lucrative multimillion ringgit petroleum contract to his son, after a journalist suggested nepotism in the deal involving SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.
“Yes, of course. He is given it because I instructed Petronas. Put that in your paper,” he sniped.“Of course. I presided over everything. I told them (Petronas), ‘please give to my son and not to anybody else,’” the country’s longest serving prime minister said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking at a press conference held after he received a patron award from the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) at the Rennaissance Hotel here.
Earlier, event organisers had instructed the media to confine their queries to town planning and any other issue related to the function and the MIP.
But the usually amicable Dr Mahathir later agreed to field a question on the ongoing controversy surrounding a remark that an opposition MP had issued regarding religion.
After the question, a journalist asked if there was any “conflict of interest” in the award of two contracts worth RM836 million to SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, where Dr Mahathir’s son, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, is executive vice-chairman.
“That is what I’ve been doing all the time,” Dr Mahathir continued in his tirade. “Even the time when I was prime minister, everything goes to my children.
“But when everything goes to the children of other PMs, you don’t want to mention because he is a nice man. He enables you to read, isn’t it?” he said, a smile firmly on his face.
The press conference was concluded a few seconds later, after Dr Mahathir offered a curt reply to another question.
According to a Reuters report last week, Allied Marine & Equipment Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of SapuraKencana Petroleum, was awarded a RM700 million underwater services contract for three and a half years by Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd.
Another wholly-owned unit, Kencana HL Sdn Bhd, was awarded a RM135.8 million engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract from HESS Exploration and Production Malaysia BV for an integrated gas project in the Kamelia Field in the North Malay Basin.
Both contracts were announced in two stock exchange filings last Thursday.
Unashamed and insolent. Now he could afford to behave as if he is immuned to any form of repercussion or reprisal. Wait till the day when his brashness and impudence got the better of him.
This is the mentality of umno/BN. The question of right and wrong don't apply. If someone else can do it, why can't I?! THATS their reasoning! And that is why all of them are actively doing it and no one within their organization can say anything against it. Because they are all guilty of doing the same thing. Why do you think they are clamoring to be re elected? To serve the people? They just want to line their pockets, because they know they can get away with it.
Whether Mahathir influenced Petronas contracts to his son Mokhzani or not, it was Mahathir who had expanded and nurtured nepotism and cronyism. Care to deny this, Mahathir?
Mahathir, thank you for your honesty. While after regime changed, your will be under arrest, you have right to remain silent, whatever statement you made will be used as evidence to testify in court. You have right to defend yourself or by appoint an attorney. If you do not have resources, the court will provide one for you. We highly recommend Karpal Singh as your defense attorney. Stay well and good night till the day comes.