According to Najib Razak, a thief - like he is being called by many - would not have left RM174 billion in Petronas' cash reserves
The former prime minister, who is facing criminal charges over money laundering among others, was at a ceramah in Bandar Sri Sendayan, Negeri Sembilan, last night, where he was speaking as part of BN's campaign for the Rantau by-election.
Najib defended himself from allegations that he stole money when he was in office, arguing why would he then leave Petronas with a cash reserve of RM174 billion.
He criticised the Pakatan Harapan government for taking RM82 billion from Petronas to ease the burden of national debt, saying he only took a small portion of dividends from the state oil company
"The national debt during my time stood at RM686 billion, as confirmed by Bank Negara Malaysia. Today, the national debt is RM777.1 billion – it has gone up by RM85 billion in 10 months. And because of that, they (government) took Petronas' money, as much as RM82 billion," he said during the ceramah, as reported by The Malaysian Insight.
If I am a thief, what kind of thief leaves RM174 billion in Petronas' cash reserves?
While Najib claimed that he only took "RM17 billion" in dividends from Petronas, the actual amount was RM19 billion, according to a report in Malaysiakini.
The oil and gas company has announced that it would be paying an additional sum of RM30 billion in special dividends in 2019 to ease the government's burden of repaying RM37 billion in goods and services (GST) tax and income tax refunds.
Petronas, which announced a 12% revenue increase to RM251 billion in 2018, said that the special dividend payment would not adversely affect operations.
Meanwhile, in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday, a BN lawmaker presented a bizarre analogy between politicians entering schools with permission and how stealing is not a crime if not caught: