COMMENT| In an article published by Malaysiakini on Oct 30, 2017 titled “Najib launches into lengthy broadside against Dr M at dinner event”, the prime minister made remarks which most believe were directed at me. I am reproducing (excerpts of) Malaysiakini's article below and my responses.
Dr M: What fake news! If they are fake, prove that the Department of Justice, America's report about purchases of residence in UK and US, Wolf of Wall Street film, purchases of paintings, (and) pink diamonds did not happen, that US$3.5 billion of Riza (Aziz’s) money came from his family, that 1MDB money did not pass through Singapore banks as reported by officials, that US$681 million was not in his account at AmBank, that Jho Low is not the recipient of 1MDB money. Don't just deny. Don't ignore. Give proof. All money transactions are documented. Show us the documents on all the transactions involving 1MDB money. Sue the Department of Justice of America, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Let Jho Low answer questions by American authorities.
Dr M: What is illegitimate about toppling a democratically elected government? It happens in Brazil, in South Korea and in many democratic countries in the past, between elections. The evidence against the overthrown leaders were not even clear. Already they were overthrown. Here the evidence is overwhelming – but hidden by the attorney-general. If the AG charges him in court, he would be overthrown today.
Dr M: The attempts failed because there is no rule of law in Malaysia. Reports against Najib result in arrest and jailing of the man reporting. Reports by institutions are made official secrets. Judgement is passed by the AG, not a court of law. Have a proper hearing and I will accept the verdict. If guilty, step down.
Dr M: The print and electronic media in Malaysia are controlled by the government. Even Parliament cannot discuss 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in Najib's accounts. Umno general assembly was instructed to be silent on these. Am I supposed to censor myself when asked by foreigners. I have been talking to foreigners throughout my life. Prove that what I say is fake. Let's have “Nothing to hide 3”.
Dr M: It is the foreign media which repeatedly and extensively published Malaysia as among the 10 most corrupt countries here, here, here, here and here to name a few. During by-elections, money was openly paid to voters, kitchen appliances were given. The 2018 budget is offering money to people prior to an election. I don’t have to repeat my accusations. The people are already repeating them and telling me.
Dr M: What about Transparency International (TI) chief Jose Ugaz’s speech on Sept 2, 2015 at the opening of the 16th IACC in Malaysia. Among other things Ugaz said;
“….What does that mean for Malaysia? The government has taken measures and initiatives to tackle corruption. We will surely hear that from the minister. We want to see more progress but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the $700m that made its way into the prime minister's personal bank account. In recent weeks, we have seen the attorney-general who was critical of the government suddenly replaced, the 1MDB taskforce suspended, investigators at the anti-corruption commission arrested or transferred, and newspapers suspended for reporting on the matter. These are not the actions of a government that is fighting corruption. We may well hear promises of reform. That is not what is needed at this time. And promises alone will not restore confidence and trust. There are two questions that need to be answered: Who paid the money and why? Where did it go? One man could answer those questions. If that does not happen, then only a fully independent investigation, free from political interference, can uncover the truth. Until that happens, no claim from the government on anti-corruption will be credible.”
Dr M: The Malaysian government's total debt is almost one trillion ringgit. Show how you are going to pay this. Let independent auditors audit KWSP, Tabung Haji, KWAP, FGV and PNB.
Dr M: There already is a dictatorship in Malaysia now. There is no rule of law. AG prevents Najib's case from going to court. Opposition figures are hounded and detained. Possible supporters of the opposition are accused by MACC of corruption and money laundering without proof. Ignoring the 2.6 billion in Najib’s account, the MACC is instead accusing, detaining and questioning a former minister on unfounded suspicion of corruption.
Dr M: Elections were free before. Now there is a lot of cheating especially (with) postal votes. In Pekan, Najib’s margin of 250 in 1999 increased to 25,000 in 2004 while the electorate increased from 35,000 to 80,000. There is no way for these increases to happen. Obviously, the additional voters were created out of nothing. Financing of the opposition is actively blocked by Najib. All banks, even private ones are closed to the opposition.
Dr M: If I can call myself a dictator, Najib should call himself a tyrant. I respected the law and I resigned of my own free will. Let's see Najib do the same. Najib abuses the law with the help of the IGP and AG. Or he should consider calling himself a crook. After all, he has attained that acclaim in the Newsweek report during his Trump visit.
Dr M: I had no Jho Low or Riza Aziz
Dr M: This concept is great. People are the first to bail out the government through GST. The only performance we see is the corruption of senior government servants, hospitals without medicine, low-cost housing not built, additional taxes based on nothing, and raids to oppress people and deter them from supporting the opposition. Registration of the opposition coalition has not been given. 1Malaysia is about BN first. The only transformation is the new security laws being tightened and more power to the PM to detain people.
Dr M: TN50 is launched. By 2050 the debt will bankrupt the country. The one trillion national debt will increase to three trillion. The ringgit will depreciate further.
Dr M: Bottom-up means the people must pay GST, endure high cost of living, no scholarships for their children while Najib enjoys the billions stolen from 1MDB, KWAP, KWSP etc.
Dr M: What acclaim! Is being called a kleptocratic country an acclaim?
DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD is the former prime minister of Malaysia and current chairperson of Pakatan Harapan. This article was first published on his blog Che Det.