Thursday 20 Jun 2024
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(May 1): Mirzan Mahathir, the son of former Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, intends to invest US$100 million (RM477 million) in a cement factory in South Sudan.

If approvals are granted timeously, the plant should be operational in 24 months and will use limestone from Kapoeta, 275 kilometres (170 miles) east of Juba, the capital.

“Juba, being the main market for cement, is a good location for us,” Mirzan told journalists on Tuesday.

The factory will reduce reliance on expensive cement imports and speed up infrastructure development in oil-rich South Sudan, according to Kuol Daniel Ayulo, the first undersecretary at the Trade and Industry Ministry.

Mirzan’s investment company, B Smart, will also construct an office building for the government, Investment Minister Dhieu Mathok told a separate media briefing.

“B Smart is committed to coming here. We are already working on a number of investment projects,” Mirzan said.

In January, Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency ordered Mirzan and his younger brother Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir to assist in an investigation against their father. They are required to declare their assets dating back to 1981, the year he became prime minister.

Mahathir, who led Malaysia for nearly a quarter century in two different stints, said at a press briefing in January — conducted before Mokhzani was ordered to declare his assets — that the probe involving his son Mirzan was politically motivated.

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