By Aathi Shankar
It’s a joke that Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government has blamed the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration over its own blunder engaging a government-link company (GLC) to produce Malaysia’s 3rd national car.
It’s a common knowledge that the prestigious PROTIGA project is Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s pet project.
Hence, linking BN and former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to Mahathir’s pet project is a feeble attempt to insult the people’s intelligence.
The PH federal government, not BN, engaged DreamEDGE to undertake the PROTIGA project.
The PH government promised Malaysians that it would not channel public money to fund the project, assuring that PROTIGA would be solely a private investment venture.
But when caught by the fact that DreamEDGE had GLC links, PH, as usual, has tried miserably to conceal its own gaffe by blaming the previous Najib’s government.
VentureTECH Sdn Bhd, a GLC owned by a government agency, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), has bought shares in DreamEDGE.
VentureTECH, previously known as A-Bio Sdn Bhd, purchased the DreamEDGE stake, reportedly about 10%, in 2017.
But at that time the BN federal government never embarked on the third national car project.
“During BN’s time, we had never wanted to launch a PROTIGA project. The project did not exist at the time,” Najib clarified in his Facebook post on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
“It was PH which had chosen the company for this project, not BN.”
He was responding to the International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking’s earlier statement, in which the minister had attempted to blame Najib over PH’s own negligence to task DreamEDGE to produce the 3rd national car.
The minister said that the previous BN administration had given approval for VentureTECH Sdn Bhd to buy shares in DreamEDGE.
He claimed that Najib, also the former finance minister, had probably authorised MIGHT and its subsidiary to enter into business with DreamEDGE.
An uncompromising Najib did not mince his words when rebuking the minister’s blame game.
“This is the most failed attempt at blaming Najib that I have ever seen from any PH ministers thus far,” Najib chided Darell Leiking.
Since DreamEDGE has a GLC connection, Najib questioned why PH engaged the company, especially when the current Putrajaya administration promised the people that it would not use public funds for PROTIGA project.
The Pekan MP pointedly noted the PH government was ratted out when DreamEDGE was found to have links to VentureTECH.
VentureTECH’s 10% shares did not include the amount of shares in the form of Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS) that can be converted into common stocks and may increase government ownership up to 53%.
“What a failure. You people (PH) wanted to do the PROTIGA project. But you’ll knew it was a government-owned company.
“You people promised that the project would not use public funds. You’ll chose the company for the PROTIGA project.
“Then blame Najib? Apologise!” taunted Najib.
“The minister’s lame excuse to blame Najib has failed miserably.”