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Malaysians have the right to
know more about the two major
deals made by Petronas with
Liu Tian Khiew
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
Wednesday): The news of " Petronas clinches RM91 bil gas deal with China" and "Petronas, China's Nanjing to make car engines" have understandably made the front pages of all local newspapers rather "timely" at a time when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was accused of unable to bring foreign investment, new businesses and economic development to the country.
Those who take a closer look would know that these were actually no big deals. In addition, we want the Government to tell us more about the deals instead of hiding many facts from Malaysians.
Petronas will supply 3.03 million metric tonnes of natural gas annually to China's Shanghai LNG Company Ltd . The deal was unveiled by Abdullah and China's Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the China-Asean summit in south China's Nanning city.
The sales of LNG to China over a period of 25 years was similar to the deal we have made with Japan some years ago. The Japan long-term deal has proven to be in favour of Japan as the selling price fixed at that time was much lower than the current selling price. Since Abdullah has admitted that the deal was based on current selling prices, what has happened to the Petronas-Japan deal may also happen to the Petronas- China deal. There must be some mechanics for adjustment of energy prices within the contract period, knowing that the prices of energy are always on the upward trend. It therefore appears to us that the Malaysian Government has not learned a lesson. And Malaysians in general would again have to pay for the price of ill decisions in future.
On the case of building car engines in Nanjing China, many Malaysians may be wondering why Proton was not in the picture. Will Proton able to survive when even the government itself was not keen to promote its business?
And some may be wondering why Petronas has such a capacity or know-how in this field as a oil and gas company.
Petronas said it has sealed a deal with Chinese automaker Nanjing Automobile Corporation and Brilliant Culture Group Ltd to jointly manufacture car engines.
The project is scheduled to take
off in December 2006 with
production expected to commence
in 2009 with an annual
production capacity of 100,000
units according to Petronas in a
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew,
DAP CEC member and NGO Bureau Chief