Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was irked by questions from reporters today over a potential conflict of interest in a recent contract involving Petronas, in which he serves as an adviser.

NONELast week, Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd reportedly awarded a RM700 million contract to a SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd wholly-owned subsidiary. Mahathir’s son Mokhzani is a vice-chairperson of the latter company.

Mahathir replied in a sarcastic tone when asked during a press conference today whether there was conflict of interest in the deal.

“Yes of course, he (Mokhzani) is given it because I instructed Petronas. Put that in your paper.

“I presided over everything. I told them, please give to my son and not to anybody else. That’s what I have been doing all the time.

“When I was the prime minister, everything was given to my children.

“But when everything goes to the children of the other prime ministers, you don’t want to mention because he is a nice man.

“He enables you to read, doesn't he?” Mahathir said in reply.

SapuraKencana reportedly made two stock exchange filings on Nov 1, with one saying that its wholly-owned subsidiary Allied Marine & Equipment Sdn Bhd was awarded the contract for three-anda-half years of underwater services.

azlanA separate deal was also filed on the same day, saying that another wholly-owned subsidiary, Kencana HL Sdn Bhd, secured a RM135.8 million contract from HESS Exploration and Production Malaysia BV for a gas project at the Kamelia field, supposedly 150km  northeast off the coast of Kota Bharu.

Following this, an oil royalty pressure group put together a poster featuring a map showing the location of the gas field, a screenshot of SapuraKencana’s website showing Mokhzani as one of its directors, and a news clipping of the two contracts, totalling RM836 million.

“Mahathir’s son gets RM836 million in projects via SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd to extract Kelantan’s gas. The people of Kelantan don’t even get a single sen!

“We demand a five percent royalty or RM100 million a year from the gas revenue in Bunga Kamelia Well,” says the poster by Gabungan Profesional Tuntut Royalti, Pendaratan Minyak dan Gas ke Negeri Kelantan (Royalti).