BN govt decided to sell consulate building in Hong Kong, Lim reminds Najib

Yiswaree Palansamy
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 26, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today revealed that it was the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government that initiated the sale of the Malaysian consulate’s property in Hong Kong.

Slamming former prime Datuk Seri Najib Razak for criticising the Pakatan Harapan government for the move, Lim also accused the Pekan MP of attempting to sell the building via direct negotiation.

“Recently, I read in the newspaper, and this I feel it was about you (Najib) saying why sell the assets owned by the consulate in Hong Kong.

“I want to notify you, Pekan. The decision to sell the consulate in Hong Kong was made by you, yourself, when Barisan Nasional (BN) was in power,” he said in his winding up speech on the Royal address in Parliament,

“The offer letter was issued by him (Najib) because the repair cost was RM300 million. So the decision made by him before May 9, was to sell the consulate in Hong Kong, but the decision was made via direct negotiation, with the price of RM1.1 billion.”

Lim also said Pakatan Harapan (PH) reviewed the decision and opened a tender for the sale of the building, leading to it securing a RM1.6 billion offer — RM500 million more than what was offered by BN.

“That is the tactic of the Opposition parties who always disregard the facts,” Lim said.

“So here once more, I hope Pekan, please remember what you did when you were the prime minister. Don’t try to push facts behind, because this was your own decision,” Lim added, offering Najib a chance to explain himself.

Najib, however, did not respond to Lim’s claim and instead asked him to explain the alleged discrepancies linked to the controversial undersea tunnel in Penang.

Najib yesterday reportedly expressed concern to reporters in the Dewan Rakyat, over the government’s decision to sell the 28-storey building it owned in Hong Kong.

Among several Malaysian government agencies, the building located on Gloucester Road, is also home to its Consulate-General.

Malaysiakini reported the former prime minister saying that government assets must be kept until they appreciated in value, while also generating income.

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