INTERVIEW | While Pakatan Harapan’s campaign emphasis on the 1MDB scandal implicating caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak might have worked to retain support in its urban strongholds, its real challenge in the coming polls still lies deep in the more rural areas of the country.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that the 1MDB issue has had little traction among rural voters, claiming that they were largely “unable to understand” the complexities of what has been described as the biggest global scandal of its kind.
“I think the very rural people cannot understand… They can’t even understand RM1 billion, how much is that? To them RM1 million and RM1 billion is the same.
“And to them, even if a prime minister steals money, they have always thought that prime ministers, including me, stole money,” he said.
Urban voters, Mahathir added, seemed better able to understand the issue in comparison.
“You see, a lot of (these urban) people are acquainted with simple things about money. They know when money is stolen. They know what is RM42 billion."