Putrajaya, February 28: In order to boost the economy of the country and prosperity, Saudi Arabia has decided to invest over US$7 billion (S$9.84 billion) to set up an oil refinery in Malaysia's ambitious Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC). The deal was signed between Saudi Arabia's national oil company Saudi Aramco and Malaysia’s state-run oil company Petronas on Tuesday.
Speaking to the reporters after a bilateral meeting, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that this deal is the single largest investment in the project led by state-run oil company Petronas. On the other side, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud called this deal as a "vote of confidence in our economy". While talking to reporters, King Salman also hit back at critics who have accused him of endangering Malaysia's sovereignty by welcoming huge amounts of Chinese deals into the country.
King Salman said, "You can see that Malaysia has got very good relations with many countries. When we went to China, we were accused of selling our sovereignty. I wonder, will they say we sold our sovereignty to Saudi Arabia." "It is not a matter of sovereignty but an investment. It is a strong vote of confidence in our economy," he added.
Importantly, Malaysian and Saudi Arabian companies also signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth RM9.74 billion in construction, oil and gas, halal industry, aerospace and haj services.
Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has been a strong supporter of PM Najib, who has faced continued accusations of graft over US$700 million found in his personal accounts which were linked to troubled state firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad. However, Riyadh has backed the Malaysian leader's claims that the money was a political donation by Saudi's royal leaders ahead of the previous election held in 2013.