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Dr M: After Najib, my turn to meet Umno on 1MDB
Published:  Apr 30, 2015 2:58 AM
Updated: 4:54 AM

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad now wants to meet with the Umno grassroots to discuss 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), following similar meetings held by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

In a post on his blog this morning, Mahathir said this would only be fair as it would allow the Umno grassroots to hear both sides of the story.

"I hope to be given the opportunity to meet with normal Umno members to explain Najib's problem of the missing billions .

"After listening to both sides, only then judge whether my attacks (against Najib) are attempts to damage or save the party," he said.

Mahathir acknowledged that some Umno members have asked him to stop attacking Najib and added that he is thankful for their advice.

He also indicated that Najib's private meetings with the Umno grassroots members appeared to be working in the PM's favour.

"I have some experience in politics, particularly concerning Malay culture. We are inclined to be loyal to leaders.

"We do not question anything done by leaders. He (Najib) is the leader, we follow.

"More so when we are given closed-door explanations, as if our leader is sharing secrets with us," he said.

Necessary discomfort

However, Mahathir stressed that a wise conclusion could only come after both sides of the story are heard.

"If there are those who think I am damaging the party, I hope I am given a chance to explain why I am attacking Najib.

"For me, the attacks may make Najib and some Umno members uncomfortable. But the reason is I want to save Umno, the sacred party, which in the past enjoyed support and won two-thirds majority in every election," he said.

He added that only those who do not observe would fail to see that Najib had failed to revive Umno after his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Following Mahathir's public declaration of hostility against Najib last month, the prime minister has been on a blitz, holding private meetings with several sections of Umno.

Mahathir has also stepped up on his public appearances and is taking particular aim at 1MDB, which has accumulated a staggering RM42 billion debt, as well as on Najib's family wealth.

Najib also heads the Finance Ministry, which 1MDB comes under.

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