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Umno ministers' statements more 'stupid' than in my time - Mahathir

Published:  |  Modified:

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lamented that the statements of Umno ministers today were more "stupid" than during his tenure as prime minister.

He was responding to a number of statements by the ministers claiming that the country's economy was in good shape.

Among them was Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani citing the increasing number of overseas holidays, Johor Bahru MP Shahrir Samad on the rising collections for mosques, and Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar who cited the increasing obesity rate.

"These are not indicators of economic strength," Mahathir said in a video uploaded on Bersatu's official Facebook page.

"Even though I too had ministers (when I was prime minister), they were not like the ones today.

"Today, their statements are more stupid," added Mahathir, who is also Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu chairperson.

Mahathir said another example was Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak, who had claimed that the seizure of the superyacht Equanimity by Indonesian and US authorities in Bali had nothing to do with businessperson Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low. 

According to the DOJ, the superyacht is owned by Low who allegedly commissioned the US$260 million vessel using misappropriated 1MDB funds, which were laundered through the US financial system.

"Salleh claimed Low does not own Equanimity, but Low himself has admitted to owning the yacht.

"Baseless statements expose the stupidity of the person," said Mahathir.

Following the seizure of the yacht, Low, through his spokesperson, had decried the DOJ's "global overreach."

The DOJ claimed at least US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB and allegedly laundered through the US financial system to acquire various assets there.

It is seeking to seize around US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly acquiring using the stolen funds.

1MDB has not acknowledged that any of its funds had been misappropriated.

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