PUTRAJAYA: The government decided to take back over RM1 billion from China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP) because it failed to complete the contract.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government made the decision to take back the money because the company only completed 13% of the project.
“We paid CPP 80% of the project cost, therefore the government is entitled to take back the rest of the money.
He said the RM1 billion was taken from a company account.
“We are not taking money that does not belong to us,“ Mahathir said at a press conference after attending the Bersatu supreme council meeting today.
He pointed out that the project with CPP had been cancelled, therefore the government is entitled to claim the excess it had paid.
He said there is no reason for the company to feel unhappy. We are not taking back money for work they had done, we are only taking back money for work they have not done.
When asked to comment on the claim by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng that he was not responsible for taking back the RM1 billion, Mahathir said as the prime minister he was responsible in principle in taking back the money.
On the GST funds that the Public Accounts Committee said was not missing, Mahathir said if the money is not missing we must find out where it is.
He said if we cannot find it, then it is missing.
Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said the party’s leadership will be holding a special meeting on July 20 to amend the party constitution.
“The amendments will give the ordinary members the power to vote for the leadership of the branches and divisions.
“Divisional representatives will than vote for the top leadership.”
He said all posts at the top leadership will be open for contest.
He added that anyone can contest for a post as long as they are fully paid up members.
He said no decision has yet to be made on the number of posts a person can contest.
He said if they want to contest for the chairman, president or deputy president post, they can do so because there is nothing to prevent them from doing so.
Mahathir said the party’s supreme council did not discuss the decision by Johor to retain the youth membership at 40 nor did the state give an explanation.
He said there have been rumours of Palace interference in the matter. They (the palace) have no right to interfere in this matter.
He said if there is proof of interference from the place over the age limit then the party will have no choice but to nullify the decision.