KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 – Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today accused the Najib administration of continuing a privatisation policy that enriched an elite group of companies linked to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government at the public’s expense.
The first-term Selangor mentri besar (picture) seemed to be wading into the growing controversy surrounding the federal government’s decision to dish out lucrative national projects to private firms linked to certain corporate personalities close to the ruling political powerhouse.
A former corporate captain, Khalid noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been talking to prominent business leaders and asking for help to develop Pakatan Rakyat (PR) led Selangor.
“It is becoming clearer and clearer to Malaysians that privatisation has served to privatise only profits, while socialising losses.
“The way the federal government has implemented privatisation has clearly and consistently uses taxpayer money to underwrite failure, without creating any genuine growth,” he said in a statement today.
Putrajaya last month awarded a RM2.2 billion highway contract linking the fast-growing Kinrara township in Selangor to Damansara to Emrail Sdn Bhd, a company controlled by a prominent Umno lawyer, Datuk Hafarizam Harun and the wife of Tun Zaki Azmi, a former Chief Justice.
Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin had alleged that Zaki and Hafarizam, two key figures in the Perak constitutional crisis of 2009 were awarded the highway contract as a gift for helping Barisan Nasional (BN) topple PR in the northern state.
Opposition lawmakers have questioned the federal government over the sudden decision made barely a week after a public tender was called.
Najib has made it known publicly too that he wants Selangor back, whatever the cost.
Khalid said his administration was willing to cooperate with the federal government to further develop the country’s wealthiest state, but urged the PM to ensure transparent and accountable corporate practice in GLCs.
“Federal policies as well as those enacted in Selangor prior to 2008 are rife with elements of corruption, preferential treatment, and spoon feeding of interested parties.
“Failure to do so will only worsen the leakages that have bled the country dry for decades,” he added.