Since Najib Abdul Razak took over the premiership in 2009, the national oil and gas company Petronas has been instructed to move its overseas investment into the domestic market to benefit his cronies and prop up economic growth, claimed PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli.

NONEDescribing it as a "shortcut to benefit cronies", Rafizi (right) said this has disrupted Petronas' strategy which has been in place for the past 20 years to build up Malaysian international oil reserves to ensure sustainable petroleum income for the nation.

Being an oil producer with strong international oil reserves, he explained, would enable Malaysia to take advantage of the trading margin which could be leveraged to lower our fuel prices.

Transparency lacking 

Rafizi was answering a question from the floor on how Pakatan Rakyat would slash fuel prices if it captures Putrajaya, during a public forum on Budget 2013 last night in Petaling Jaya.

He also claimed that after former Petronas chief executive officer Hassan Marican stepped down in February 2010, reportedly due to friction with Najib, Petronas has stopped publishing information in its financial report on the breakdown of subsidy payments to the government, including the amount paid to independent power producers.

NONERafizi, who was an executive in Petronas before venturing into politics, said during Hassan's leadership, there were always efforts to enhance
transparency in Petronas' operation and to keep the public informed about its operations, but the trend has been overturned after he was succeeded by Shamsul Azhar Abbas (right).

To a question on Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the accountant-turned-politician suggested that if Pakatan captures Putrajaya, it should pass a law to cap the amount of money that EPF can invest in government debt instruments to ensure EPF would not be abused.

The forum organised by Pakatan also featured political researcher Ong Kian Ming, who has just joined DAP, and PAS' economist Dzulkefly Ahmad as speakers.

Dzulkefly questioned the rationality of giving a RM200 rebate to those aged 21 to 30 years to buy smart phones, claiming that the proposal has actually benefited cronies even before it is implemented.

He pointed out that the total market capitalisation of three major telco companies - Digi, Axiata and Maxis - have gone up by RM8 billion since Budget 2013 was tabled.