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Masidi stands by remarks on RM170 million Sabah Development Bank debt during Warisan
Published on: Thursday, July 11, 2024
By: Ricardo Unto, Larry Ralon
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Masidi stands by remarks on RM170 million Sabah Development Bank debt during Warisan
Masidi (left) also said his statement was based on the auditor’s report and the minutes of the SIP board meeting, which Shafie (right) chaired in January 2020.
STATE Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun is willing to be referred to the State Legislative Assembly Privileges Committee over his statement on the Sabah International Petroleum Sdn Bhd (SIP) issue involving former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

Shafie, who is Senallang Assemblyman, earlier quoted Standing Order 43(6) and sought a retraction from Masidi for the latter’s statement during Tuesday’s sitting over a Sabah Development Bank bad loan.

“It is important to correct some facts presented by the Finance Minister (Masidi) yesterday (Tuesday) in this Assembly,” said Shafie.

Shafie stressed he did not give instructions to raise the bonds to settle SIP’s debt when he was Chief Minister in the short-lived Warisan-led State Government.

“The Minister (Masidi) mentioned in yesterday’s (Tuesday) response that I raised the RM170 million debt. That is incorrect. 

“That was a restructuring of the loan.”

In response, Masidi said he never claimed Shafie asked them to do so.

“I said you (Shafie) attended the meeting of SD Berhad, the holding company for SIP, and you chaired both companies,” he said.

Masidi also said his statement was based on the auditor’s report and the minutes of the SIP board meeting, which Shafie chaired in January 2020.

“I would be happy to be referred to the privileges committee, and I will justify what I have said,” Masidi said.

Masidi had said records showed that in January 2020, Mohd Shafie while chairing a SIP meeting, because he was SIP Chairman, tried to raise bonds or Sukuk to pay the his debt. 

“Unfortunately his proposal didn’t work because it didn’t sell in the market...surprisingly, when he (Mohd Shafie) did it there was no problem, (but) when we did it and managed to solve the problem, it was considered a problem.” 

Responding to Mohd Shafie on why SDB gave loans to companies from the peninsula, Masidi said he (Mohd Shafie) did not state when the loans were made and made it appear as if the current State Government is the one giving the loans. 

“No. The records show that when GRS and Warisan took over the government, billions had already been lent to companies from the peninsula. 

“It’s not his fault (Mohd Shafie) either, and it’s not our fault (GRS) either. The only difference is, during his time he did not tackle it but during (the current Chief Minister) Hajiji’s time we tried to tackle the problem.  

Masidi said Mohd Shafie has also stated that he has given instructions for action to be taken against an SDB creditor in Johor but no action has been taken. 

“It was all recorded in the SDB minutes which showed there was no action taken. 

“For the record, not only was there no action, but the SDB report stated that the borrower was never taken to court. The account was a non-performing loan (NPL) and the borrower instead had its status changed from NPL to performing loan, which was done by providing a new loan of RM172 million to cover overdue interest of RM172 million in Aug 2019. And six months later, the same borrower went back to become NPL. This is the fact,” said Masidi.

Nevertheless, Masidi said the State Government is expecting an Auditor-General’s certificate without reprimand for its financial statement for the year 2023.

“Reprimands from the Auditor-General in 2022 have already been resolved in 2023. 

“For 2023, we received a certificate without reprimand, only the certificate has not been issued but we have been verbally informed,” he said.

Speaker Datuk Seri Kadzim Yahya said he would review the Hansard regarding Masidi’s speech on Tuesday and decide on Thursday.

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