Rafizi: Sapura CEO was paid RM983m when Najib was PM

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PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli says Sapura Energy Bhd’s chief executive officer (CEO) had received some RM983 million in various payments from 2009 to 2018, when Najib Razak was the prime minister.

In a statement, the former Pandan MP questioned why Najib did not speak up for the thousands of Sapura employees and stakeholders at that time when he seemed so vocal about their welfare now.

Rafizi said Sapura made over RM1 billion in payments from 2009 to 2021 to the CEO, involving wages and bonuses (RM508,717,000), rent to firms linked to the CEO (RM149,000,000) and intellectual property (IP) fees to firms linked to the CEO (RM439,000,000).

“In that same period of time, Sapura paid RM683 million in dividends to shareholders. From this RM683 million, around 35% of the dividends was paid to the majority shareholder which in this case was Sapura’s CEO.

“Hence, the estimated payments to the majority shareholder (represented by the CEO) in the form of wages, rent, IP fees and dividends is around RM1.33 billion.

FMT

“This is compared to the RM440 million distributed to other shareholders like Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP),” he said.

Rafizi said the way the bulk of Sapura’s payments were made to its CEO was “clearly unfair” to PNB and KWAP.

He said Najib should have ensured that fund management companies like PNB and KWAP were getting the best value for their investments since this had also occurred when he was the prime minister and finance minister.

“When he had the power and influence to safeguard the rice bowl of thousands of Sapura staff, and the small firms that are Sapura’s vendors can get paid, and that people’s investments would get the appropriate returns, where was Najib?” he asked.

Sapura, a government-linked company (GLC), announced a loss of RM8.9 billion last year, the largest for any Malaysian GLC in history, according to Najib.

He had called on Putrajaya to direct Petronas or Khazanah Nasional Bhd to take over Sapura, though Rafizi had said that money would be better off being spent on the people.

In his statement today, Rafizi maintained that corporate firms’ financial issues should not be resolved with public funds as it would create a weak corporate culture with a lack of incentive and accountability for private firms to manage their business well.

“Najib has taken the opportunity to look like a hero for the people to save himself when he has already been sentenced to prison. His hypocrisy cannot continue and the people must be presented with the facts to unveil his hypocrisy,” he said.

Rafizi added that from tomorrow, he will be suggesting ways to help Sapura out of its financial struggles and prevent the loss of thousands of jobs. – FMT