'PM's actions proves substance in allegations'
Published:  Aug 17, 2015 10:26 AM
Updated: Aug 3, 2016 11:12 AM

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued to lash out at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, focusing on his actions in recent weeks, such as the removal of Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy premier and Abdul Gani Patail as attorney-general.

"With these actions, Najib has effectively stopped investigations on the disappearance of billions of Ringgit invested by 1MDB and the appearance of RM2.6 billion in Najib's account.

"Now no legal action can be taken against Najib as the allegations cannot be proven. But his very actions prove that there is substance in the allegations made against him," he said.

The former premier said Malaysia is facing an unprecedented situation.

"The rule of law has been turned upside down and the people seem powerless to do anything to put it upright again.

"This is because the very leader entrusted with upholding the law has become the subject of the due process of the law. It is alleged that he has broken the law.

"As no one is above the law, it follows that he must be investigated to determine if indeed he had broken the law," he added.

Although this is unprecedented in Malaysia, Mahathir said similar situations have unraveled in the past.

He cited the case of former US president Richard Nixon ( photo ), who used government officials to spy on his political rival.

"This was considered as abuse of power in the US. Eventually he was impeached and was forced to resign as president. The vice-president took over and in due course elections were held. The vice-president won. End of problem.

"In other countries more violent methods are used to remove an unpopular president, whether elected or imposed by the military or other politically powerful groups," he said.

Doesn't want to use violence

However, Mahathir said Malaysia does not want to see violence used and hence instruments or the institutions of governments were expected to investigate and determine whether the allegations against the prime minister are true or not.

"The institution that is normally expected to do this is mainly the police. Other institutions with the capacity to investigate are also expected to do this. In cases involving money, the central bank are expected to investigate and report.

"Then there are special bodies created to oversee how government money is managed. These are the auditor-general and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Additionally there is the anti-corruption commission.

"They are however limited to investigations and preparation of reports. They themselves have no power to prosecute. For this, the attorney-general must decide and initiate legal proceedings. If the AG decides there is no case to answer, even the most blatant crime will not be tried in the court," he added.

Due to the serious nature of the allegations against the highest leader of the government, Mahathir said a task force of four, consisting of the AG, inspector-general of police, Bank Negara governor and head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was formed to collect all relevant evidence for the AG to decide on the action to be taken.

"All these agencies and institutions were in the midst of their investigations when the PM struck. He first sacked the AG and appointed his man to the post. Then he literally disbanded the PAC by appointing the chairperson and three other members as deputy ministers and to other posts.

"Members of the MACC who were continuing to investigate the case were harassed by the police who accused them of leaking secrets. Two were transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department (but this has since been cancelled)," he said.

Mahathir said rumours were rife that Bank Negara governor had Zeti Akhtar Aziz was being investigated for corruption.

Although she remains as governor, he added the staff of the central bank were harassed and accused of leaking information to the press.

"The Edge, the paper that exposed the 1MDB scandal was closed. The owner of The Malaysian Reserve paper was told to sell it back to the previous owner.

"Najib also sacked the deputy prime minister and one of the ministers who had been vocal in questioning the financial records of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion found in Najib's personal bank account," he added.

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