KENINGAU, Malaysia - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Finance Minister was ready to give up Malaysia's sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund during the 1997 financial crisis.
"The nation was fortunate that our Prime Minister then, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was able to craft our own formulas to pull the country out of the crisis.
"I know this because I was also a member of the Cabinet then," he added when launching the RM30mil (S$12mil) Sabah Handicraft Centre here at the start of his two-day visit to the state.
The Prime Minister said that Anwar as a senior member of the Cabinet was bereft of ideas.
"Now all that he does is level all sorts of criticism against Barisan Nasional," he said.
Najib said Anwar had also claimed that 30 Barisan Nasional MPs would defect to the Opposition on Sept 16, 2008, allowing Pakatan Rakyat to take over the Federal Government.
"This is the biggest lie in Malaysian political history. Let us not forget this historical incident easily," he said.
Najib said Barisan was focused on transforming the nation and ensuring balanced urban-rural development.
The setting up of the handicraft centre reflected this commitment and the close cooperation between the state and federal governments, he added.
While Yayasan Sabah constructed the building, the Federal Government provided the equipment and manpower training costing some RM20mil.
He also announced a RM235mil soft loan to Sabah for the construction of a new water treatment plant and other facilities in Keningau to benefit more than 200,000 people.
Also present were the Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.
At another event, Najib launched the ground-breaking ceremony for the largest livestock centre in the country located at the 834ha Keningau Livestock Integrated Centre (KILC).
It is expected to house 2,000 cattle that would produce six million litres of milk annually.
"That sounds like a lot of milk," Najib quipped, drawing laughter from the crowd.
He said the milk would be distributed in Sabah, peninsular Malaysia and Brunei.
The centre is expected to start producing its first batch of milk next year.