Aug 9, 2006

PM: Kamal, Khairy never abused ties

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied that his son Kamaluddin, and son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, have benefited from his position as Prime Minister, including getting government projects.

Abdullah said that since he became Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Kamaluddin and Khairy never abused the family ties to get government projects.

“Kamal(uddin) never misused his relations with me. Kamal was never involved in local companies or concessions. No. He never asked any help from the Government. Never in anything that needs bailout,” he said.

Abdullah said this in a 40-minute interview with Bernama chairman Datuk Mohd Annuar Zaini in the Bersemuka Bersama Perdana Menteri programme aired by TV3 last night.

Kamaluddin is the biggest shareholder in oil and gas services company Scomi Group, while Khairy owns a small interest in investment bank ECM Libra Bhd.

Abdullah said Kamaluddin had to find projects overseas because he did not want his business to be linked with his father.

“If people ask, why go overseas, he (Kamaluddin) will say, 'Father (Abdullah) is the prime minister, it’s difficult to earn a living locally'. Of his contracts, his business, 80% are from overseas. That is his livelihood,” he said.

Abdullah also quashed rumours that Scomi had been awarded the monorail project in Penang.

On Khairy, he said his son-in-law took a loan to buy shares in ECM Libra.

“But, to say he grabbed projects, I’ve no evidence with me that Khairy has taken government projects,” he said, adding that Khairy never met him to ask for projects.

Abdullah said he never interfered in his son-in-law’s political career. He was elected Umno Youth deputy chief by the movement.

“I am being frank. I don’t know if (Umno Youth chief) Hishammuddin (Tun Hussein) is angry with me. Hishammuddin says, ‘The Youth have decided, I have decided, I want to nominate Khairy for Youth deputy head, Pah Lah don’t disturb, this is Youth affairs’,” he added.

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